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Soldier: Writer of 1998 Paul W.S. Anderson film didn’t intend Blade Runner connection

Soldier: Writer of 1998 Paul W.S. Anderson film didn’t intend Blade Runner connection
Soldier: Writer of 1998 Paul W.S. Anderson film didn’t intend Blade Runner connection

David Webb Peoples, who wrote both Blade Runner and Soldier, didn’t intend for the two movies to be connected

Director Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi classic Blade Runner was written by Hampton Fancher and David Webb Peoples, based on the Philip K. Dick story Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – and when director Paul W.S. Anderson brought Peoples’ sci-fi action script Soldier to the screen sixteen years later, he and his crew added in references that set the story within the universe of Blade Runner. But during an interview with author Danny Stewart for the book Soldier: From Script to Screen (pick up a copy on Amazon), Peoples revealed that he had never intended for Soldier to be connected to Blade Runner.

When asked if he wrote Soldier as a “side-quel” to Blade Runner that was set in the same universe, Peoples answered, “No, I never had any thoughts about that.” The screenwriter went on to reveal, “I wrote Soldier in 1984. Very quickly on my own. I wrote it because I saw the first Terminator in the theater, stunned. And it was such a wonderful
movie. I’d always wanted to write a movie in which there was a tough guy who would be seemingly unsympathetic in the lead, and I felt that The Terminator was almost there. Later in the sequel, it was determined he was the hero, but at the time, he was sort of a villain. But the fact is, he was so great. I went off, and I decided to write about this soldier.

So Soldier wasn’t meant to be connected to Blade Runner, but Peoples was inspired to write it after watching The Terminator. Peoples added that he has never watched the film version of Soldier because the script meant a lot to him and he fears watching the movie would break his heart.

Anderson’s Soldier has the following synopsis: Todd has been trained since birth, through brutal conditioning, to be an emotionless killing machine. After 40 years, Todd and his comrades are deemed obsolete when Col. Mekum promotes a new breed of genetically flawless soldiers. Discarded on the trash-covered planet of Arcadia 234, Todd is rescued by colonists Mace and Sandra — but he’s soon forced to face his stronger replacements when the military seeks to wipe out the colony.

The film stars Kurt Russell, Jason Scott Lee, Jason Isaacs, Connie Nielsen, Sean Pertwee, Gary Busey, and Michael Chiklis.

Anderson and his crew connected Soldier to Blade Runner through references to battles that were also referenced in Blade Runner, and by placing a spinner vehicle from Blade Runner on the set.

Are you a fan of Soldier, and do you consider it to be part of the Blade Runner universe? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/soldier-blade-runner/