It turns out Blade Runner's biggest fan may have been the author who inspired it.
Earlier this month we got a look at some old screening notes that featured three producers unloading on the flick and demanding it be recut. Today we spotted a letter from legendary sci-fi author Philip K. Dick praising the film, which was loosely based on his novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?.
The letter is dated Oct. 11, 1981, nearly nine months before Blade Runner's theatrical release. It's addressed to Jeff Walker, an executive at The Ladd Company, which produced the film, and was apparently written after Dick saw not the finished film, not a rough cut, not even a trailer, but a segment covering the film on a TV show.
“This indeed is not science fiction,” Dick wrote. “It is not fantasy; it is exactly what [star] Harrison [Ford] said: futurism. The impact of Blade Runner is simply going to be overwhelming, both on the public and on creative people — and, I believe, on science fiction as a field. [ ... ] Nothing we have done, individually or collectively, matches Blade Runner."
Dick went on to heap even greater praise on the creative team by declaring that his "life and creative work are justified and completed by Blade Runner." That's an incredible thing to hear from any writer at any time, but the fact that Dick died after a stroke less than six months later (before Blade Runner hit theaters) makes it an even more touching statement.
Dick concluded the letter by declaring that the film would be "one hell of a commercial success" and "invincible." He was wrong about that, at least at first, but in the years since that prediction Blade Runner has proved one of the most enduring and popular science fiction films ever made. Maybe Philip K. Dick really could see the future.
Check out the full letter below.
(Via Open Culture)