Originally Posted by Rutgar
So that's your answer? Ignore eveything presented in the film and go by what you think the Director's 'intent' was?
No, I view the film and see that Deckard is a replicant. That's what the film says to me. It says something different to some other people. That's cool; opinions are our own.
Then, later, the director chimes in. He explicitly says the interpretation of Deckard as a replicant was correct (where "correct" simply means it was his intent). He recuts the movie to remove the ambiguities that led to the debate.
Those of you claiming that the debate only started after the DC are simply factually incorrect. I was aware of the debate prior to the DC, particularly once the CAV LD from Criterion was released, and I studied it in 1988. Anecdotal evidence: I shared the movie on LD in 1991 with someone who'd never seen it. She pointed out that Deckard's eyes glowed just like those synthetic animals. She said she thought Deckard was a replicant. I hadn't prompted any such discussion, but then replied that there is a big debate about that issue.
Some contended (pre-DC) that there was other evidence of Deckard being a replicant, beyond the eye-glow. Some pointed to a line from Gaff that was cut short: "You've done a man's job, Sir. [But are you a man?]" Some pointed to the unicorn dream that had been cut from the TC. This was BEFORE the DC was released.
So, the timeline is thus:
1982: TC is released. Some debate Deckard's humanity or replicant status.
~1987: Criterion's CAV LD is released. Aspects of the debate are addressed in the supplements.
1992: DC is released. RS restores the primary item that supported the previously-debated position that Deckard was a replicant.
RS states explicitly that he considered Deckard a replicant. This did not start the debate. (But it obviously didn't end it, either.)