a) Nostromo crew entering the city of Blade Runner
Ridley Scott didn't think that Blade Runner had anything to do with Alien but noticed that there was a connective tissue in what he was putting into the Nostromo environment in Alien and the city in Blade Runner.
Alien dealt with people who were living in close proximity to people who had Earth bound connections, and in Blade Runner, they were dealing with people who still lived on Earth who were exploring colonisation on other planets.
Perhaps the city could have been one that supported the crew of the Nostromo when they returned to Earth and go into a bar off the street near where Deckard lives.
So what he brought to the movie in terms of design obviously brought similarities and there were obvious comparisons to be made.
Perhaps one might start to imagine that Blade Runner was happening on Earth while the crew were having their encounter in Alien, but the truth was that what would be happening in space at the time that Blade Runner is set wouldn't be advanced as Alien.
b) Similarities between Ash and Roy
Both Ian Holm as Ash in Alien and Rutger Hauer as Roy Batty in Blade Runner shared a Teutonic quality in Ridley's mind.
However he didn't want to use the word android in Blade Runner because he used it in Alien and he couldn't stand the idea of using it anymore, so he chose the word "Replicant" coined by David People the script writer's daughter who was studying genetics at UCLA.
c) Talk of Earth Corporations
Another connection between two films is that they were set in a world of industrial conglomerates, and these Earth corporations were often being referred to throughout the movie.
- Ridley Scott: I don't think Blade Runner has really anything to do with Alien. In a funny kind of way, it's really a contemporary film (Starlog November 1992)
- Starlog: Alien Represented Dan O'Bannon and Ron Shusett's vision
of the future and Blade Runner is a presentation of Phil Dick's vision.
How do they match your vision?
Ridley Scott: I think that these things are all interpretations of what I bring to the film. I guess the visual overlay, which is the sense of the presentation of what it's like, is therefore not really their vision of is particular future. Both films are a process of shooting through the camera with one's own taste. Therefore what one gets in blueprint or screenplay is hopefully a good story or a thrilling story or a touching story or a sentimental story, well told. After the blueprint, things are wide open for interpretations. It can be screwed up or enhanced, whichever way you like, whichever way you like to go, whoever is handling it, basically.I think that the strength of your balance in the screenplay - which in ALIEN was contributed to by Walter Hill - determines the film's outcome. ALIEN had a very sharp sledgehammer of a screenplay which drove along at an incredible pace and which had some shocking ideas about sequences and the actual thrust of the whole thing was there, but the interpretation of how you go about it is another thing.
The concept of the future - I'm afraid when you get into these things it's always a battle because you're dealing with unknown quantities and people. A lot of people are involved when you are trying to convey an idea of what you want. It then has to be interpreted by someone else, until finally something is built and then filmed within the piece of that structure. The idea may be there for the story but the actual execution is really seldom anything like the screenplay. (Starlog November 1992)
- Starburst: Rutger Hauer is also very impressive, was he chosen because of his role in Nighthawks?
Ridley Scott: No, Soldier of Orange. I wanted somebody who is physically not "American", was apart somehow. Certainly in the film he's Teutonic and that was an instinctive choice really, to go in that direction, I somehow tried to link it with Alien, because there are certain Teutonic aspects to Ian Holm as the robot, Ash. Very efficient and that was a deliberate decision to make.
Starburst: Were there any links between Ash in Alien and the replicants in Blade Runner? It maybe a case of me reading into it too much, but an aspects of Alien that I found interesting were the by the way references to the Earth corporations.
Ridley Scott: There is a connection there
Starburst:... and Blade Runner could very much be what's happening on Earth while the crew of the Nostromo are having their encounter with the Alien
Ridley Scott: It is in a way. Except what would be happening in space at the time Blade Runner is set, wouldn't be as advanced as Alien
Starburst: Did you feel a link between the two films while you were making Blade Runner?
Ridley Scott: Oh sure. We made obvious comparisons. In fact, that was one of the reasons why I didn't want to do Blade Runner to start with, was because I'd just done with an android in it and that was another reason why we changed the word 'android'. I couldn't stand that word any more! it was David People's daughter who came up with the word "replicant". She's actually studying genetics at UCLA so it is a word that they use. (Starburst Vol 5, No 3, Nov 1982)
- Ridley Scott (19:30) And er this kinda followed through on Alien because there's a, almost like a connective tissue between all the stuff I went through on Alien into the environment of the Nostromo and people living within close proximity to people who're... who still have Earth bound connections and here we have people on Earth, so almost this world could easily be the city that supports the crew that go out in Alien, so in other words when the crew of Alien come back in, they might go into this place and go into a bar off the street near where Deckard lives, that's how I thought about that. (Blade Runner director commentary )