Warner Home Video has worked out the complex rights for Blade Runner to pave the way for a September reissue of the re-mastered "Director's Cut" version, followed by a theatrical release of a version promised to be truly Ridley Scott's final cut.
Variety reports that Warner Bros,' rights to Blade Runner lapsed a year ago, but the studio has since negotiated a long-term license. The film, now considered a sci-fi classic, has had a troubled history from the start: When Scott ran over-budget, completion bond guarantors took control of it and made substantial changes before its 1982 theatrical release, adding a voiceover and happy ending. That version was replaced by the much better-received director's cut in 1992, but Scott has long been unhappy with it, complaining that he was rushed and unable to give it proper attention.
The director started working on the final cut version in 2000, but that project was shelved by Warner soon after, apparently because the studio couldn't come to terms with Jerry Perenchio over rights issues.
Blade Runner: Final Cut will arrive in 2007 for a limited 25th anniversary theatrical run, followed by a special edition DVD with the three previous versions offered as alternate viewing: Besides the original theatrical version and director's cut, the expanded international theatrical cut will be included. The set will also contain additional bonus materials.