In 2015, reality caught up with Back to the Future II and it couldn’t quite live up to the future’s portrayal in that film. By 2019, it’s also pretty unlikely that the future will look anything like the world depicted in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. However, Blade Runner remains one of the most influential sci-fi films over 30 years after its initial release.
Back in 1982, Blue Dolphin Enterprises, Inc. published the Blade Runner Sketchbook with artwork by Scott and several notable illustrators and futurists including Syd Mead, Mentor Huebner, Charles Knode, and Michael Kaplan. The Blade Runner Sketchbook is long out-of-print and original copies are quite valuable on the collector’s market. But the entire book has been posted online for fans to enjoy.
This isn’t new, but it is a very cool chance to see some of the design choices that went into making this film. Editor David Scroggy’s Blade Runner Sketchbook included costume designs for Rick Deckard and the replicants, as well as early artwork of the police cars, corporate spinners, the futuristic buildings, the sidewalk diner, and even the smaller details like fire hydrants and parking meters.
Perhaps most intriguingly, the sketchbook includes artwork from unfilmed sequences that featured Zhora’s Orgasma Mask and Tyrell’s Cyrpto-Crypt.
You can flip through the entire Blade Runner Sketchbook below and admire the effort and forethought that went into this film. The sketchbook itself isn’t quite as polished as modern movie art books, but as a time capsule for the making of Blade Runner, it’s invaluable.