'Blade Runner' Day: Fans Shocked to Discover Film is Now Set in the Past

Blade Runner fans who hoped to see C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate by the year the film is set in have been left disappointed today, as we have now reached "Blade Runner Day," or November 1, 2019, when the Ridley Scott movie is set.

At the start of the Harrison Ford-starring film, there is an opening scroll that tells us that Replicants have been declared illegal after they took part in a mutiny in an off-world colony, and that a special police team known as "blade runners" have been tasked with killing any they find on Earth. The scroll then tells us we are in Los Angeles in November 2019.

However, the L.A. in the movie, often voted one of the best science fiction films of all time, is just a little different from the real-life city in 2019, which is sorely lacking in flying cars, oil flare booms and giant billboards featuring winking Japanese women.

blade runner day
"Blade Runner" is set in November 2019. Getty

Fans have taken to Twitter to express their disappointment that the future Blade Runner promised has not happened. For example, one wrote: "#BladeRunner was apparently set in November 2019. Where's my flying car? Back then it was a dystopian sci fi movie, turns out it was wildly over optimistic," while another tweeted, "still waiting for my flying car and personal android helper!"

Other fans could not help but take a dig at President Donald Trump, with one tweet reading that real life 2019 is "Not as grim but Trump is trying!!!!!," while another asked: "The original Blade Runner is set in this month, November 2019. Would you rather live in that polluted, replicant-inhabited dystopian universe? Or would you rather live in our polluted Trump/[Boris] Johnson-inhabited dystopian universe?"

Like in Blade Runner, however, the real 2019 does see the world struggling with climate change (in nearly every outdoor scene in the L.A.-set film it is raining), giving voice commands to our technology and facing mass extinction of animals, who in the film have been replaced by artificial creatures in the movie's biggest reference to its source material, Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

However, the film failed to predict the rise of smartphones, the internet and social media—it is easy to imagine a real-life Rick Deckard (played by Harrison Ford) spending his days hunting replicants by catfishing them on Twitter.

Blade Runner is far from the only sci-film film set in the far-off year of 2019. Other once-futuristic movies set this year include 1988's Akira, Arnold Schwarzenegger film The Running Man and 2009's Daybreak, which imagines a 2019 where the world has been overrun by vampires.

For those who want to watch Blade Runner to mark the occasion of Blade Runner Day, the film is not available on Netflix or any of the other streaming services in the U.S., but can be bought from YouTube, the Apple Store, Amazon or all other good online film rental sites.