Blade Runner & The Movies of ‘82 + Ms. Marvel Creator Bisha K. Ali | Crooked Media
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July 22, 2022
X-Ray Vision
Blade Runner & The Movies of ‘82 + Ms. Marvel Creator Bisha K. Ali

In This Episode

On this episode of X-Ray Vision, Jason Concepcion and Rosie Knight hard boil some eggs with JF Sebastian! First in Previously On (9:05), they discuss Rosie’s Den of Geek cover story on Black Adam (see below) and what to expect from Marvel Studios at Comic Con – including an extended X-Men fan cast. In the Airlock (1:01:29), Jason and Rosie dive deep (deeeep) into the summer of 1982 and specifically the sci-fi flick Blade Runner – discussing the various cuts, the score, the dystopian vision, the legacy, whether Deckard is a replicant, and more with a special appearance by producer (and Blade Runner fan) Saul. In the Hive Mind (2:02:39), Rosie sits down for a charming chat with Ms. Marvel showrunner Bisha K. Ali, exploring their mutual comic book origins in London, Bisha’s approach to writing, the challenge and gratification of exploring Partition, and of course that insane finale reveal. (Note: this interview was recorded pre any and all Comic Con news.) Then, in Nerd Out (2:26:31) listener Frances pitches us on RuPaul’s Drag Race.


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Send a short pitch and 2-3 minute voice memo recording to that answers the following questions: 1) How did you get into/discover your ‘Nerd Out?’ (2) Why should we get into it too? (3) What’s coming soon in this world that we can look forward to or where can we find it?


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Listener’s Guide to X-Ray Vision

Rosie’s Den of Geek Black Adam feature.


Primo – an upcoming freevee show inspired by Shea Serrano’s life in San Antonio – following a teenager balancing the responsibilities of society, college, and home with the support of his mother and five uncles. 

X2: X-Men United – directed by Bryan Singer in 2003, available here.




Jason Concepcion [AD]


Jason Concepcion Warning. This podcast contains spoilers for the 1982 film Blade Runner. I mean, like, if you haven’t seen Blade Runner, legitimately go see it.


Jason Concepcion I’m going to find my baby. Got to hold her tight. Going to grab some afternoon delight. Ooh, we’re in San Diego, baby. That’s right. My name is Jason Concepcion. Welcome to X-ray Vision, the Crooked Podcast, where we dive deep to your favorite shows, movies, comics and comic book conventions. That’s right. We’re in San Diego today. Rosie, how is San Diego treating you?


Rosie Knight Hot, but exciting. It’s nice to be back.


Jason Concepcion It is great to be back. We’ll talk a little bit about what we’re what we’re doing here in San Diego in a bit. First off, here’s what you can expect in today’s action packed episode. On the Previously On, we will talk about Rosie’s Den of Geek Story coming up upcoming, big, big time Den of Geek story. And we’ll be previewing some of the events of Comic-Con. In the Airlock, the winner of our summer of 1982 movie selected by you, the listeners of X Ray Vision. It is Blade Runner, Final Cut version. We’ll be talking about the final cut version and also the the various other cuts, history of the movie, our thoughts on the movie, and our thoughts on some of the movies, the other movies from 82 that did not win in the Hive Mind. Rosie’s got a fantastic interview with Ms. Marvel showrunner Bisha Ali, which is super cool. In the Nerd Out, listener tells us about RuPaul’s Drag Race. And of course, if you want to jump around, check out the timestamps in the show notes. It’s all there for you. All the information is there for you. And joining me right now from San Diego, from a different hotel in San Diego somewhere.


Rosie Knight It’s always, always its safe, COVID safety, baby.


Jason Concepcion That’s right. She she is the number one comic book historian, the expert of all things Godzilla, Kung Fu movies and more. She’s the great Rosie Knight. Rosie, how are you?


Speaker 4 As always, Love Best. That’s every week. It’s like if I’m feeling down, just wait for you to introduce me so I’ll to swap, so I’ll be doing it to you soon,  the unbelievable Jason.


Jason Concepcion What’s going on? What is what’s what are you doing? What do you got lined up? Oh, Comic-Con. What are you looking forward to?


Rosie Knight I will. So I’ve got I I’m on my record lowest panels ever this year, which is nice cause my first year back to San Diego is 2019. I’m going to be on a Godzilla panel called Godzilla King of the Comic Book Monsters, which, when you listen to it, will be on today, on Friday, four till 5 p.m. in room 4. And I’m for going to be talking about my Godzilla comic. Lots of other Godzilla comics and just a bunch of Godzilla writers talking about making Godzilla comics. So that’ll be very cool. I’m also going to be doing a lot of hosting. Den of Geek has a fancy suite where I will be doing interviews, so I’ll be doing some interviews which you’ll be able to check out on their YouTube. And also my my cover story that you mentioned, which is a big Black Adam cover story for Den of Geek magazine. That’s a nice reason to be here because they’re just given out everywhere. So everyone will be able to read that. That’s be really cool what you’re doing here.


Jason Concepcion What am I doing here? I have to interview the writer of many things, including the Song of Ice and Fire series George R.R. Martin on Friday, which is going to be really fun. And I’m just I’m not coming out of my hotel. My ultimate, ultimate, ultimate fear is somehow being implicated in George R.R. Martin contracting COVID. So I’m like absolutely sitting in my room testing every day and not fucking coming out until I do that. And I’ve got to do a bunch of other interviews with some cast from House of the Dragon. And then I’m doing the The House of the Dragon panel in Hall H on Saturday, which is I don’t get nervous. I’m not a I literally never get nervous about about live events, about recording, about going up on stage, about any stuff. I don’t care. I’m like, Eh, I have no fear. I’ve never been the type of person who forever reason gets nervous. I get excited, but I don’t get I get keyed up, but I never am like, Oh shit. This time I’m like, I’m legitimately like, I need to carve out like Friday night and Saturday morning and just like drill down on names. On  putting names to faces. On character names. On questions I’m going to say. Now the thing that I keep telling myself is nobody’s there to see me. They don’t get me. Nobody cares if I, I could die up there. And nobody would care. Nobody.


Rosie Knight There are X-ray vision fans there definitely.


Jason Concepcion Nobody.


Rosie Knight It’s nice to.


Jason Concepcion Nobody gives a shit.


Rosie Knight It’s nice to feel the to be the moderator is a is there is a hard balance between being interesting but not being too interesting and making sure that everyone who is actually there to talk gets to talk. The worst thing is if you have a moderator who just talks too much. Like everyone knows this.


Jason Concepcion I’m not going to talk at all.


Rosie Knight No, you’re going to be great. And also, I mean. Congratulations because Hall H that’s the big one. Anyway, as our listeners will know, that’s like. The place. To announce something to moderate something. I mean, that’s huge.


Jason Concepcion It is. And I’m peeing a little in my pants. I’m dead serious. This is I have not felt this way in a long time, so I’m just going to research my way out of it. And then I’ve got that.


Rosie Knight Yeah, you’re going to kill it.


Jason Concepcion And then after that, just interviews and stuff. And then I’m going to and then I’m going to get in a car and go back to Los Angeles, and then I’m going to fly to the wrap party for Primo, the TV show that we’re filming with Chase Rhino. And so hopefully, somehow, someway, we just all avoid Covid.


Rosie Knight I believe in you. No, no, no. I feel. You. We. I can see your hotel room. You can see my hotel room. Both nice hotels, both close to the convention center. I believe we can do it. I usually love, Comic-Con. It’s like one of my favorite things in the world. When I was a kid, I dreamed of going here and I used to come every year and all my friends are on artists alley and I would walk around and this is the first place I ever met Grant Morrison. This is the first place I ever met the Hernandez brothers. But this year I’m reining it in. I’m hotel room. I’m watching things I’m writing. I’m just. We can’t. We can’t risk it. It’s not worth it. Also I’m going to a I’ve got a screening on Monday like this wild screening for Nope, the New Jordan Peele movie. And it’s like at a ranch. And there’s going to be like riding a horse. And I’m like, I can’t. Yeah.


Jason Concepcion What. Wait a second. Where is it? Where are they doing this? Like in a valley somewhere?


Rosie Knight Like a ranch somewhere. Yeah. You have to get like a trolley. You have to get like a trolley out there. Like, I guess they’re going to people are going to be able to pay for it. But they were like, do you want to come and taking my friend, my amazing friend James, who’s also a great comics writer. And yeah, so I’m like, that’s my I can’t get sick. That’s my pimose wrap party. I’m like, I can’t miss it. We’ve both got reasons to stay safe aside from, like, our own health.


Jason Concepcion Just trying to avoid it. Okay. Up next. Some Comic-Con predictions and more on the Previously On segment. Be right back. This week on Keep It writer and self-proclaimed rom com-nosueur Bolu Babalola is guest hosting. Listen in for her thoughts on Lizzo’s new album and everything that is Bennifer 2.0. Plus, they’ll be joined by singer Hayley Kiyoko. I love Hayley Kiyoko. She’s fucking great. Listen to the new episode of Keep It Every Wednesday wherever you get your podcasts.


Jason Concepcion We’re back. First on Previously On Rosie, let’s clear the lane and let’s get you to talk about this really huge cover story that you’re doing over at Den of Geek that they are just promoting the shit out of, which is awesome.


Rosie Knight Yeah, it’s been very wild. So I love Den of Geek. I’ve written there a lot. My main edit is Mike and Chris really great. And Mike reached out to me and was like, Hey, I’ve got this thing. I can’t tell you what it is. Do you want to do it? He was like, I think you want to do it. And I was like yeah, I mean, probably. And and I wasn’t sure. I was like, Is it mission impossible? Like what could be this secretive? And then, you know, eventually I found out it was for Black Adam and I went to Warner Brothers to the studio lot, and I got to sit down with Dwayne Johnson and interview him one on one. He is exactly as incredible as you’d think he would be. Like, you meet him and you’re just like, Wow, I know why you’re The Rock. Like, you are just the greatest, nicest. He puts you on equal footing. Like, the conversation was really great. I came out of it feeling very good. And then I also got to interview all four members of the JSA. So yeah, which is like really wild because I love Aldis Hodge who plays Hawkman. He was great that interviews. So it’s a big profile feature of Dwayne and the information about like making the movie The Journey, 15 year journey to make the movie and then there’s for Q&A is one Aldis Hodge, he plays Hawkman. I love him. I interviewed him for The Invisible Man. It’s just great. And. And then Quintessa Swindell, who plays Cyclone, who’s just one of the coolest people you’ll ever meet. And Noah Centineo, who plays Atom Smasher, who is on vacation. So we had a little bit of a different way. And then I actually got to interview Pierce Brosnan. Who played Dr. Fate.


Jason Concepcion Holy shit.


Rosie Knight So that was the one where I was just like, Oh my God. So yeah. And it’s when this episode comes out, it will be out. It comes out on Thursday at San Diego. It’s free at San Diego Comic-Con, anyone can just pick up them. They give them outside, everywhere. You’ll see Dwayne on the front looking really cool. And if you’re not ta San Diego, they actually stock them a lot of free comic book shops, a lot of comic book shops for free. You can check online to see if you’re comic shop, list them. And if you do want to definitely get one, you can you can join the mailing list where I think it’s $9.99 a month and you get four issues a year. I usually write like one thing, at least in most issues, so but yeah, it’s really cool and it’s really surreal, but I’m really excited. I love the JSA, so it’s nice to get to nerd out about the them and Dwayne really loves the JSA. He was.


Jason Concepcion Really?


Rosie Knight Oh my God, it was actually he loves Black Adam. Yeah, like that’s like his connection, but he just wanted to know. He’s like, But why? What did I feel like as someone who like because I’ve written a lot about the JSA, a lot of like history about them. And he just really wanted to know, like did I had I wondered like why the JSA hadn’t had a movie before and is like yes. Like often actually. So it is really great to meet someone who’s just so passionate about it and, and then for it to be coming out in San Diego, which obviously so important to us. And then, you know, on Saturday, that’s all the big stuff, your panel. Dwayne is doing a big Hall H panel for Black Adam and obviously the Marvel panel.


Jason Concepcion The Marvell panel where we expect big things to go off.


Rosie Knight Big things happening.


Jason Concepcion Big things happening, folks. Let’s go there next. Screenrant had some interesting details about what to expect, perhaps from the MCU at their up, their upcoming panel. Their last Marvel’s last Comic-Con panel was 2019. They’ve been doing their D23 stuff. Their panel will first panel is on Friday the 22nd, so that when by the time you’re hearing this, it’s probably happened. And that’s the panel that’s going to cover animation with Brad Winderbaum, who has kind of worked his way up through Marvel from working on the movies to now EP-ing on almost everything they do, certainly on the TV side, we expect looks at X-Men 97, very exciting.


Rosie Knight That’s definitely going to be the big thing for that panel. And I think like we might get a little hint at how much X-Men 97 is going to be canon and important to the mutants in the MCU, because I think that seems to be where they’re going with it.


Jason Concepcion I completely agree. I’ve been thinking about this actually since the last time we we all got together and spoke in a meeting. It really feels like X-Men 97 is there to to number one, kind of established the X-Men as a team in people’s minds. We haven’t. They haven’t. Certainly have not appeared in the MCU as of yet. And it’s been a number of years since the last X-Men movie, which maybe we, you know, it wasn’t great.


Rosie Knight You know what?


Jason Concepcion It wasn’t great. I liked some of it, but it wasn’t great.


Rosie Knight Yeah. X-Men movies. That’s a that’s a complex thing and I would I’m very excited to see I’ve seen every X-Men movie many, many times.


Jason Concepcion Yes.


Rosie Knight But I’m excited to see a new iteration because I think in hindsight, a lot of the problems that the later X-Men movies have, there is a direct, direct lineage to the whole way that that that property was treated. So I think it’s going to be really exciting and I think it’s I think something that’s really cool about this X-Men 97 thing. This is a great example of listening to what has kept your fandom alive.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight Fans of this cartoon are like one of the most intense beloved fandoms. This cartoon shaped so many lives, so many people’s love of the X-Men introduced so many people to Marvel Comics. And I really love that this is one of the ways that Disney is deciding and Marvel is deciding to bring back the X-Men into the fold after the the Fox ownership or Fox license, I should say.


Jason Concepcion We should also expect to see on this from this Friday panel some Marvel Zombies stuff. Certainly maybe peaks into What If season two and more. And then of course on Saturday that’s the big, big talk about it and that’s the big stuff. We’ll we will recap all of this stuff on our next episode, but almost guaranteed, we’re going to get first looks at Wakanda Forever. Ant-Man and the WASP Quantumania. Guardians of the Galaxy three. Maybe the Holiday Special. Perhaps Blade. Maybe we’ll see Mahershala in the full Blade costume.


Rosie Knight I would love that. With the long jacket.


Jason Concepcion Perhaps. Now, here’s where we get a little bit, you know, theorize-y. Are we going to, are we going to have any announcements about the Fantastic Four or are we going to have any announcements about the mutants? Let’s see. Speaking of the mutants, this Wednesday, Deadline listed The Mutants as the title of the potential upcoming X-Men movie and listed it as among the things that we are likely to see in Hall H. So the quote from Deadline after listing all the stuff that we just said closes with quote, “there’s still some stuff we haven’t seen. Specifically the Fantastic Four reboot Mahershala Ali in Blade. Guardians of the Galaxy, volume three. The Marvels and the Mutants.” I. What do you think? What are your what is your initial reaction to The Mutants?


Rosie Knight First of all, I know that it’s hard to write out news, but I like that they called, they said, Mahershala Ali and The Blade. I would like to that.


Jason Concepcion The Blade.


Rosie Knight Thee Blade. Yeah. So I think that’s very interesting. I. I don’t know if I necessarily think. I think it would be very bold if they made their first X-Men movie, not with the word X-Men in it, with the words. I think The Mutants like Eric, at Nerdist, who is just so brilliant. We were talking earlier and he made a really good point where he was like, This sounds like it could be a TV show that establishes the world of the mutants before we see them form the X-Men. Now, I would love. A movie called The Mutants where it’s pre the X-Men forming. I think would be really great even then the X-Men movie is you know, the third or fourth MCU style Avengers type movie. I don’t know. The X-Men brand is like so powerful. I think it would be really bold though, and I would like it. I would like it just. There’s so many things it could mean, like, is it a Morlocks movie? Like.


Jason Concepcion Right.


Rosie Knight Is it a new Mutants movie?


Hellfire Club.


A New Mutants? A Hellfire’s Club movie? Is it a, you know, my dream has long been like a, which will surprise nobody listening to this, but a Charles Xavier School for Gifted Youngest focused but like focused on the kids while the adults are out fighting all the older students and kind of focusing on them and how they train and how they, you know, who they shape and all that kind of like fun teenage drama. But with the background of the X-Men, I would love to see something like that. I also think, you know, The Mutants, like we said, we’re introducing all these different things, the Eternals, the Clandestine, Talo,  more about Kamar-Taj. Maybe The Mutants is going to introduce us to that secret world that we’ve been talking about where it’s like, This is The Mutants because this is the world that they’ve been living in. I think that could be very interesting. What do you think?


Jason Concepcion I mean, my initial reaction was, I wonder, if this is true, I wonder if Marvel is going for a kind of Avengers style structure in which we have various movies that introduce these characters. So the mutants would introduce, you know, I’m just making stuff up now. But Scott Summers and Jean, as kids, maybe after they’ve just joined this secretive upstate New York Academy for young hidden mutants or.


Rosie Knight Sounds amazing.


Jason Concepcion Or something like that. And then. We build towards an X-Men team up movie where the X-Men movies are the team up movies, and then The Mutants and the other movies like that are the kind of stand alone.


Rosie Knight I think that sounds perfect.


Jason Concepcion Wolverine, Charles Xavier.


Rosie Knight Storm.


Jason Concepcion Magneto, Storm movies where they have their own like kind of like cast of characters with their own solo movies. And then everybody teams up in the X-Men. I wonder if if this is a hint that they could be going that way.


Rosie Knight I think that makes a lot of sense because if we look at that X-Men comics that we love, especially like that Chris Claremont run that we’re always talking about, it’s all about that long lead, slow burn storytelling, which was very much that original Phase one MCU stuff. So, you know, the chance to meet these characters in their own different worlds and spaces and see them come together slowly over time in a way that feels on and learn about how who gets picked for the team, you know, the things like I’d love to see that fight between, you know, Scott and Storm about who becomes your head teacher. Like, there’s so many good things you could do if you take your time with it. And it’s not just like, here’s the original five and they have powers and the government doesn’t like them. I think Kevin is he is ambitious enough and has enough money and creative control that I would really like to see them do something like that where they take, they understand that this is the next 20 years of their MCU.


Jason Concepcion Yeah, absolutely. And that’s the. And that’s the way that we got here. Is this really unique? The kind of release format which no one had ever tried before, where you have these solo movies, for characters that at the time people were like, Does anybody give a shit about Thor?


Rosie Knight Yeah. Most people did not know who Iron Man was. They don’t want to see the Captain America.


Rosie Knight Thor was an outdated character no one really cared about like. That’s true. I’m sorry.


Jason Concepcion And you’re building towards this moment where all these characters now, you’ve established them in their own movies, their own adventures, and their own cast of characters, which I think is actually kind of important having that. You know, think about Dr. Eric Selvig and all the things that he’s done and how important he’s been to like the kind of wider happy prep of Darcy.


Rosie Knight Yeah. Darcy Pod.


Jason Concepcion Like all these characters who, who came in through the solo movies who are then like really important in kind of like populating the MCU and making it feel like a real live universe with all these people walking around.


Rosie Knight I say, true it.


Jason Concepcion I wonder if The Mutants is a hint that they’re going to do that, because, you know, this is how they got there. This is how they got here. And I think it makes more sense than just doing, you know, because for me, I think what I love the X-Men movies particularly X2.


Rosie Knight Of course, I mean, they’re great.


Jason Concepcion You know, even if they’re bad. I fucking liked them, you know, like even when they’re killing characters that should not die as like fine.


Rosie Knight R.I.P. Darwin.


Jason Concepcion R.I.P. Darwin. But the thing that made it hard is that you had all these X-Men movies and you couldn’t because the cast is so huge, barely spend any time with them. You barely spent any time with Scott dies fucking off camera, barely spent any time with Nightcrawler, you know, like barely spend any time with Storm. I want to spend time with these characters because, you know, selfishly, because I love them. And I think that, listen, that’s how you establish The Avengers. Why not establish the X-Men that way, where you give them their own projects and then have everybody build towards this crescendo of a team up movie? I think that would be cool.


Rosie Knight I think it would be really cool. I hope, as I hope that this mutants reporting is true. And I really yeah, I hope we get to see something like that because that would be very cool.


Jason Concepcion That said, let’s do, let’s do a cast.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Concepcion Let’s cast. Let’s cast our MCU X-Men team. And you can just, we can just pick whoever we want. It doesn’t need to be giant sized. It doesn’t need to be ultimate X-Men.


Rosie Knight Yeah, we can just fan cast some people.


Jason Concepcion Just people that you like. Do you want to start?


Rosie Knight Oh, this is so hard. This is the kind of thing, I think about all the time. Okay, I’ll go with one of my favorite fan casts, which would be a very different version, but I do like the idea of it. So I’ll start with Wolverine. I think there’s so many different ways they could go. I am almost stalking Wolverine, Stan, but that is not the route I’m going to go right now because I don’t really think I have a I’m still in contention. Like, would I would I like to see like John David Washington as Wolverine? Yes, I think he’d be he’s very stern. But this is I’m going to go with. So Keanu Reeves, we love him. Everyone loves him. Right. He, when he was a kid, he’s like a young actor, his dream was to play Wolverine. And I actually think in a world of old man Logan, of a world where we’ve seen a young Wolverine growing up in inverted commas, because he’s immortal, but we’ve seen Hugh Jackman on that journey. I think it’d be very interesting. Wolverine’s old. He can be as old as you want him to. 300 years old. He’ll be 1000 years old. He can be however old.


Jason Concepcion We have no idea how old this guy is.


Rosie Knight No idea. It changes depending on the canon of the story and the timeline. I think it’d be really cool to see Keanu get to take on that role, have an older, grizzled Wolverine who really gets to play that father figure that something that we love so much about him. I think it would be really cool to have an Asian Canadian actor. You know, Wolverine’s a famously Canadian character. A lot of his story arcs have have taken from it, specifically Japanese kind of culture and stuff. I think it could be very cool to see Keanu take that on. He’s done a lot of storytelling in that world already. You know, I would I think that could be so cool. But I also I like to cast like an old like I like to cast old and young together. That’s why I did with my my Fantastic fan cast at Nerdist a couple of years ago that really popped off. So I think that would be really cool.


Jason Concepcion You know what? I don’t even want to argue against that. I’m pretty convinced.


Rosie Knight Right? It’s so cool.


Jason Concepcion I think that that’s actually a great because now that I’m thinking about it. What would be really cool to me is like quote unquote, teenage, you know, obviously, you know, early twenties in reality. But like in the movie like late teens. Cyclops. Ice Man. Bobby. Jean. You know, throw out the throw at the love triangle.


Rosie Knight The ultimate love triangle.


Jason Concepcion 300. But you know what I mean? And then this older, like, grizzled mutant who’s been through it is like,  you kids don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. Somebody go get me some beer. I think that that would actually be really good. And so along those lines. Well, first, let me go let me do the the elder states people first. Magneto, Erik. Erik Lensherr. Obviously one of the most important Jewish characters in comics, period. So, for me, got to be a Jewish actor. It it’s probably unless you’re going to do something with. You know, Hydra or.


Rosie Knight Yeah, yeah, yeah.


Jason Concepcion Alternate dimension it wouldn’t make it just.


Rosie Knight I think it has to be.


Jason Concepcion Streches credulity for him to be a Holocaust survivor but he could be like the the grandchild of survivors. So I was thinking. Liv Schreiber.


Rosie Knight Oh. That’s really interesting.


Jason Concepcion Liv Schreiber, A great voiceover guy, of course. We have seen him in a Wolverine movie and you know, star of numerous television shows and movies.


Rosie Knight Cotton Weary. From the Scream franchise. So I’ll always know him. Every time I see him, I’m just like. Oh, it’s Cotton Weary, wrongly Imprisoned, but still sucks.


Jason Concepcion So that is my pick.


Rosie Knight Love it.


Jason Concepcion Erik Lensherr, Magneto. Who would you like to go?


Rosie Knight Okay. Who? I mean, that might be. Your casting is so good. I think you’re right. I think the biggest thing that they’re going to come up against in this space is finding a way to recontextualize that aspect of his character, to make it fitting, you know, if I I do want it to be a Jewish actor. But I do have to say, like I’ve been watching The Bear, that kid’s the main kid from The Bear would be such a good young Magneto. But Marvel cast a Jewish actor, so ignore me. I don’t know if he’s Jewish. The character’s Italian-American, so who knows? Also, my other best Jewish actor that I always cast for stuff is like Mero. I always say they should cast, should cast Mero as The Thing. Right? That would be so good. Because The Thing’s Jewish. I like that. I would love that for. Okay, so let’s say we’ll go with the Liv Schreiber I like that. Who would we do for Charles?


Jason Concepcion Charles.


Rosie Knight That is  such an important chemistry.


Jason Concepcion It really is.


Rosie Knight It’s just like absolutely vital. I feel like in the modern MCU and one we’re very aware of the analogs that banks men are meant to represent. I think that a black Charles Xavier is quite likely and would make a lot of sense. So I would definitely like to see Marvel go that route. I think the rumor at the moment, one of the many rumors from an absolutely unconfirmed is Giancarlo Esposito.


Jason Concepcion I like that.


Rosie Knight I think that’s brilliant.


Jason Concepcion I’m intrigued by that. Let me raise this issue. You know, of late in current X-Men comics and, you know, X-Men runs stretching back, say, ten years or so. As we’ve talked about in previous episodes, the X-Men have become and I think necessarily become a more radical fit. They, you know, Scott, in particular, broke dramatically with Charles’s dream once it became clear that, listen, the humans are just never going to fucking accept this, even if


Rosie Knight It took him a long time. But he got there.


Jason Concepcion Yeah. And, and even our friends, the Avengers, Captain America, etc. are seemingly never around when we’re getting genocided in, in our millions and hundreds of thousands. Does it? And I’m just asking the question. I don’t know the answer to this. And obviously we haven’t even seen the X-Men yet and we don’t know what their framing is. I also think there’s an interesting world in which in which if you take the radical X-Men perspective, you’ve got a kind of like, almost naive white Charles.


Rosie Knight I think. No, I think that’s actually a really good call. And I think that in that way you can do something really interesting because Charles is kind of essentially be your bleeding heart liberal. You know, he believes in these outdated ideas that don’t protect the people that he loves, even though he really is idealistic and believes that they should. And I think that could be like really interesting. I also I think Giancarlo works for me because I am a. I love Charles Xavier, but I’m definitely a bit of I’m a Charles Xavier critic at the same time. And I know I feel like he can do a really good job of he could meld that kind of kind, loving heart that Charles needs.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight But he can also have that coolness of someone who would send kids into, like, a war like children.


Jason Concepcion And would and would erase erase and suppress the memories of his closest.


Rosie Knight Uh. Don’t even get me started.


Jason Concepcion Confidants and classmates and students.


Rosie Knight What a school.


Jason Concepcion Even though even though, by the way, he said he would never do that and he doesn’t do that and he doesn’t reach into people’s memories with Lenny, he does it all the fucking time as Charles.


Rosie Knight And he’s always doing that.


Jason Concepcion He was always doing it.


Rosie Knight He absolutely loves it. Just loves it, loves to wipe a brain and that hopefully come up in how people don’t know about the mutants. Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if we find out that at least one of the characters that we already know in the MCU did have some knowledge of mutants or discovered them, and they ended up having their brain wiped or being forgotten.


Jason Concepcion I am firmly and I mean firmly, like, you know, obviously this is all conjecture, but this is it. The thing about The Mutants that I feel pretty confident about is that when we do introduce Logan, he’s going to be part of some super, super, super, super secret part of the Super Soldier program.


Rosie Knight Oh, for sure.


Jason Concepcion We know it didn’t stop when they lost cap in the ice. Right. They just kept going and going and going. So he’s going to be he you know, he was probably in it, maybe in Korea, maybe in Vietnam, maybe in the Middle East, just a brainwashed killing machine under the employ of shadowy government military industrial corperations. I think that will be something that will happen, meaning that there’s got to be various scientists and people that know about his existence.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Concepcion Okay. Let’s see. I’m going to go with. Let me. How about Storm? We need Storm. And there’s and there’s got to, you know, storm has to have presence. And for me, this maybe is an obvious choice, but I want to I want to see Lupita Nyong’o in this role.


Rosie Knight I mean, I think that’s like such a smart role. I always, I always wondered after they cast her as Nakia in Black Panther whether or not they were going to kind of try and retro convert them into the same character. And I did read a a rumor of late about the possibility of Azari who is Storm and T’Challa’s son from Next Avengers and some.


Jason Concepcion Interesting.


Rosie Knight I heard a rumor he may be in the movie so I wonder I when Michaela Coel got announced in Black Panther two, I was so happy to see the internet be like, Storm. Because I would just love that it would be such an unexpected casting. And she’s so well known for her comedy. But then to see her, you know, in her recent brilliant HBO show, I May Destroy You, showed that she’s not just a comedic range. It’s like a really big dramatic range. So I just I think that could be really interesting, but.


Jason Concepcion That would be a good one.


Rosie Knight I think of what the PR would be. That’s the level that I think you need to have for a Storm casting, which is like Oscar Award-Winning icon. Because Storm and I do think as well Storm is, that’s the character you have to get right. Right in the X-Men. Now, that is the character people wear on t shirts. That was not the case. Those t shirts weren’t available when we were kids, sadly, because Storms’s always been a badass. But to me, like if you get Storm right, you’re probably on the right track. And I would love to know what the what if one of my old dream Storm castings and they absolutely teased me with this in Black Panther was Angela Bassett and Angela with the white dreads in Black Panther just looks like Storm. And I was like, how could you guys how could you do this to me?


Jason Concepcion So you hinted at how it would work. You know, obviously, Nakia already part of a secret society in Wakanda that was hidden from the world. So it’d be like a secret society inside of a secret society. Either she’s a mutant whose powers hadn’t developed yet.


Rosie Knight Exactly.


Jason Concepcion Or or Charles brainwashed everybody.


Rosie Knight I was going to say something about being having her powers repressed or.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight Being in Wakanda near Vibranium or the purple herb or something. It would be very easy to explain why those powers had never manifested earlier. I always wondered if that was something they were going to do. So I think that would be controversial but cool because also, like Storm’s comic book backStory is very of its time. It’s not bad, but it’s just like, I don’t think anyone would be devastated to have Lupita playing Storm.


Jason Concepcion And I just want to see more of her. That’s also selfishly.


Rosie Knight Oh, absolutely.


Jason Concepcion Who? Who else do you have?


Rosie Knight Okay, so I, I think if we’re going to go young for the kind of corps members like Cyclops and Jean and stuff. I am, number one, we don’t talk about on the show very much even though it is a comic book thing, but it’s just so outrageous to talk about one episode. You need like five seasons of a podcast. But I love Riverdale and I actually think.


Jason Concepcion One of the most off the rail television shows in the history of like television shows.


Rosie Knight If you like weird shit, if you thought Twin Peaks wasn’t weird enough, then watch Riverdale. And also, if you like comic book storytelling, just skip to the late like the last two seasons because Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who was the the the creator of the show and who was an Archie writer who made a gay Archie musical that got  cease and desisted, did many, many years ago, and then became the creative the chief creative officer of Archie Comics, which probably the best origin story ever. He really loves comic books and he loves Archie and he does some absolutely, just bonkers shi,t in the newest stuff with the way they use timelines and comic books as part of the narrative. Well, I think K.J. Apa would be like a very good Scott Summers. He is. He’s so good as Archie. And he has this kind of stoic seriousness that I think Scott needs, but he also has a naivete that I also think Scott needs. But he can he can kind of play that that middle ground between being the jock and being the boy next door. And I think that’s the version of Scott they’re going to do. I prefer the first time I thought Scott was an interesting character that I actually liked and wanted to know more about was in new X-Men when he was having like the psychic affair with Emma. I thought that version of him is very interesting. But I think why wouldn’t you try and make a young X-Men team that you can stay with for ten, 15 years? That would be the smart choice. So I think going younger makes sense.


Jason Concepcion New X-Men and Astonishing X-Men were the two properties where I was just like, Wow. Cyclops is really fascinating because up to that point and I think this has kind of been a problem in the movies depiction in yeah the film depictions of Scott so.


Rosie Knight James is amazing. James Marsden is amazing.


Jason Concepcion Yeah. Yeah there’s but there it’s a little bit of like why do people follow this guy?


Rosie Knight Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. What does he have to offer?


Jason Concepcion You know, it’s like. Yeah. What is he? Why is? Why does everybody fall in line behind Scott? Just because, like Charles told them to.


Rosie Knight Hmm.


Jason Concepcion And then it wasn’t until New X-Men and then Astonishing that really brought out that just, and I thought it in a really smart way, because he can just destroy anything he looks at. He’s got to be in control all the time.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Concepcion And so he’s always thinking about. How do I keep control of everything that’s happening? How do I think about every possible thing that could possibly go wrong when he’s bouncing his optic beams off of stuff. He’s just got to understand these angles and these different approaches. He is an absolute control freak. And also that kind of jock boy next door. There’s like an edge to him that isn’t always evident. I think it’s sometimes it gets played as he’s he scared to open his eyes if he doesn’t have his visor, he doesn’t know what the fuck to do. It’s actually like freeing to him to just, like, cut loose. But he’s also like a little scared of it. And I think if whoever they find to do it, if they can crack that code, I’m really excited to see who Scott Summers can can be on film now for Jean, as for his lifelong romantic partner.


Rosie Knight This is such a good question.


Jason Concepcion Let me let me run something by.


Rosie Knight Okay. I want to hear it.


Jason Concepcion Sadie Sink.


Rosie Knight I mean, absolutely. One, if you’re a redheaded actress and you’re known for being a redhead, you’re going to get cast as Jean Grey. Sansa Stark. Let’s be right. When that casting happened, all of us were like, Oh, my God, of course. Of fucking course.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight Sadie Sink would absolutely love it. I also think.


Jason Concepcion We’re going young. Again, it’s important. We’re going young.


Rosie Knight We’re going youg. Also I’ll recast, I’ll recast somebody younger as K.J., if that was the case. But I will say I very much like the idea of a very young Jean who is very much trying to be in control of her powers, but isn’t because she’s a fucking child. And that’s who is being both looked after and manipulated. I think there’s I think there’s just something really cool. Also, look at the stories that are popular. Say anything from Stranger Things, right? That show does not exist without the X-Men. Eleven is just Jean Grey, right. But that story hit so hard. This notion of a young girl being experimented on in this horrible way who has these unbelievable powers and her trying to find like a found family. That’s an X-Men story and I would really love to see them. And we know Sadie has range. This is not even just Stranger Things like the Taylor Swift video. I think everyone was like super blown away by her performance in that and the kind of emotional depth where she definitely was playing like a little bit older. And I think that’s brilliant. And I think you could build a really, really interesting cast around an actual teenage Jean Gray.


Jason Concepcion Here’s my other reasoning behind just thinking that it’s kind of important because we want to establish that school aspect. I think you have to. You have to flesh out Jean in a way that is separate and distinct from Wanda, who has, as we have said, as you have pointed out multiple times.


Rosie Knight So true.


Jason Concepcion She has has to this point in the MCU basically being Jean Gray, but an adult Jean. And so I think to your point, younger. Not even not in control of her powers. Doesn’t know what her powers are because Charles has wiped that part of her. It’s just that


Rosie Knight Yes. Exactly.


Jason Concepcion And, you know, and. And that’s what I think. And kind of like that very generous, you know, big hearted kind of character who is the emotional support for everyone but is also just like super young, very naive, the kind of character who is powerful. But you would worry about.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Concepcion Going into a fight with, you know, the Brotherhood.


Rosie Knight Yeah, exactly, exactly. You know, that she can hold her own, but also you just don’t want her to have to because she’s a baby. Yeah, I think that’s I think that’s brilliant casting.


Jason Concepcion Who do you have next?


Rosie Knight Who? I’m like


Jason Concepcion We’ll do a couple more. We’ll do a couple more.


Rosie Knight Yeah. Who? This is my favorite game. I could just. I could absolutely do this all day. I think, so another person, I think they have to get right absolutely is Rogue.


Jason Concepcion Oh, yeah.


Rosie Knight Especially because I think that you, you brought up a really brilliant point about Rogue and Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers and the connection that they have in the comics and this space where they exist as our most one character and and Rogue’s journey. And that, to me, seems like an arc that you would want to explore. Right. So I just I think about this all the time and I’m always watching some show and I’ll be like they should cause that girl as Rogue or something. But I’m like, Man, who? Who would it be?


Jason Concepcion Now, let me would you also go young with Rogue?


Rosie Knight Like,  I.


Jason Concepcion Like her first appearance.


Rosie Knight I think if you could find the right actor. I mean, that’s not the one thing I think the MCU is really good at, especially Kevin Feige. Right.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight Replicating the things he’s seen in the past in a way that is reflected but not copied. So I don’t I think that we will likely get a gruffer, older Wolverine or a gruffer, younger Wolverine. But I think that you’re still going to have that youthful Anna. Anna Paquin is so young in that role and brings this, like such a sadness to it and a naivety.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Jason Concepcion I just need to say I would never believe that Rogue would ever get a mutant cure. Thanks very much X3.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight But you know, we don’t really talk about X3, so.


Jason Concepcion We don’t. We don’t. Again Scott. Scott dies off screen.


Rosie Knight Yeah. I mean.


Jason Concepcion One of the most important X-Men of all time dies offscreen in that movie.


Rosie Knight Yeah. So going to my teen superhero shows again, which I do just think is like, really some of the best actors begin in those shows is like there is a really brilliant actor in that who plays Wildcat called Yvette Monreal and she just has this like. Her Wildcats arc and Stargirl is, is very emotional and she doesn’t really want to be a superhero and she doesn’t have powers, but she’s given like a powered suit, which is how most of them get it. It’s more of a JSA style storyline, but she has that inherent sadness, but also that feisty, like righteousness. But within the story, which is something I found really interesting about Stargirl, they took her on this arc that I felt was like very Rogue-ish, where it was about when something terrible happens to someone that you care about, what’s the line that you cross when it comes to dealing with the person who did that? And I think that kind of moral gray area is really important for Rogue because of the Carol Danvers storyline, and that part of Danver’s backstory. So Yvette is really great and I thought she was just so good. I mean, I want to cost but every kid from Stargirl in something. There’s a kid who plays Brainwave Junior in the first season like please everyone go watch that season. It’s one of the best seasons of TV and that nobody’s seen it because it was on DC Universe. But the kid who plays Henry Junior is this unbelievable kid who looks like Harry Osborn. And I mean, you just look at him and he just is Harry. His head, he’s white. His hair almost has waves. Like he and he’s ginger. And like this kid’s dad is such a piece of shit, Brainwave. And his arc in that show is still just one of the most heartbreaking things of all time. And I think about him all the time, and I know the MCU isn’t going to do Harry Osborn, but I’m like, Please cast that kid. Oh, Jake Austin Walker. He’s so good. Yeah. And I’m the Stargirl team’s PR person. I’m like every child in that is amazing. Cast them in the MCU.


Jason Concepcion Quick aside, When they bring in Harry Osborn.


Rosie Knight Mm hmm.


Jason Concepcion Waves. Do they should they do the waves in the movie?


Rosie Knight I think I think that the way the MCU is now, I would trust them to do a complex character who had waves. I think they would do it. I think that you could do it in a interesting, cool way because like also, if we look at the way that they react to fans now, that is the fans vision of Harry Osborn. That’s the fan art that gets drawn. That’s the way people see him. Like, I would like to see it.


Jason Concepcion Okay, I’m going to do one more. Gosh, this is tough. How about let’s pick a weird one? Oh, no, actually, let’s go. Kitty Pryde, again, one of the most important one of the most important Jewish characters in comics writ large. This is maybe slightly off the beaten path here, but I’m going to go, uh, Maude Apatow.


Rosie Knight Okay. No, I could see it


Jason Concepcion Of the Apatow from the, the spawn of, of Judd Apatow and the Apatow family. I would also Iris maybe should also audition for it depending how how young we’re going to go. But I think but I think Maude Apatow you know her from Euphoria in a very very, very small role.


Rosie Knight But like a very impactful role that’s.


Jason Concepcion But a very impactful role.


Rosie Knight I think post euphoria.


Jason Concepcion That’s why I think she I think that she has and she can do it.


Rosie Knight I agree.


Jason Concepcion That’s why I think that’s why I think she’s got it because there’s like, you know, there’s like a. Kitty is obviously like a young kid from the suburbs, but. But with an edge. A fighter.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Concepcion She is absolutely resourceful and has depths that I think. That, you know, the the experience of like watching her character on screen should be that, oh my, I didn’t think that this character that can just walk through walls like that’s all there is to it. Right? I didn’t think that she had this much. Ability this much fight, this much grit to who she is. And I think Maud’s character in Euphoria, her scenes in Euphoria, kind of convinced me that she could do it.


Rosie Knight I think you’re right. And also something else I think is really key about Kitty, is it’s unlikely that she’s going to be immediately like a main character in the movies.


Jason Concepcion Yes. I could see her in a very small.


Rosie Knight The X-Men movies because. Exactly. Like you need to build to that space where you could do a real version of Days of Future Past. Would they do it? Who knows? But like Kitty has a lot of story arcs also. You know, now she has different a different mantle. She’s plays a really main key role in the in the current X line. So I think you could build there. But I think having someone who can. Make the character memorable, even in the smaller scenes is key. So I think that is that chef’s kiss, kiss casting.


Jason Concepcion And then Jacob Elordi as Colossus.


Rosie Knight That’s evil. That’s evil.


Jason Concepcion I know. We can’t do that. Okay, so your last one.


Rosie Knight Whoo! Okay. Uh. Oh, man. I’m like, what should I? Okay. Hmm. Whomst could it be like, there’s so many good X-Men? Oh, I love Dazzler.


Jason Concepcion I mean, We could legitimately go for it. I will go.


Rosie Knight I could do this.


Jason Concepcion I’ll sit here and start. I’ll start casting gold balls. And dute.


Rosie Knight And I’m telling you, I’m telling you.


Jason Concepcion And armor. And Doug Ramsey. I’ll just keep going. No, but yeah, who?


Rosie Knight So I have. So this is an out there one, right, but I like it like so the original as we know this like the original Dazzler was made to basically be like a tying character for a disco record and stuff. So I think Black Dazzler makes a lot of sense. I am the number one Stan of Ella Balinska, who is this brilliant actress who is in Charlie’s Angels, the much maligned reboot. It’s good, actually. Don’t hate. Camp stuff is fun. She’s a brilliant action artist and she’s just really cool, really beautiful. And she’s also in the the new Resident Evil Show, which is currently, which.


Jason Concepcion Which is insane, which is, by the way, insane.


Rosie Knight It’s absolutely bonkers. Just like you couldn’t believe it. You absolutely couldn’t believe it.


Jason Concepcion I watched the first episode and it is bananas. Yes, she’s great.


Rosie Knight Yeah, she’s so good.


Rosie Knight And like, I’d like she does a lot of action and genre-stuff, which is like she’s so good in Charlie’s Angels the whole time and she’s English the whole time I was watching, I was just thinking, shit, she should be Lara Croft. Like, She’s just got it. But I’d love to see her get to have a bit more fun in a Dazzler star role but that’s still a really athletic action packed role because of the way her powers work. It would be really nice to see we’ve seen like a glimpse of a version of a Dazzler where they’re just like having a rave in a in a park in a movie. But like, I would like to see a proper Dazzler, and I think Ella could really pop. Actually, there’s there’s a scene in Charlie’s Angels which if you haven’t seen it, bless yourself, where Ella Balinska and Kristen Stewart do a disco dance routine to Bad Girls. And it is like one of my favorite scenes from any movie, and it’s like a in time dance routine that they do as part of a Charlie’s Angels star play. So go and watch that and enjoy the campiness of that good. It’s it’s a good movie, man. I swear to God.


Jason Concepcion This has been really fun. If hopefully people don’t hate our fan casts and if you have different ideas, please send them to us. We’d love to hear your fan casts. Do you have any? This is. We’re belaboring this, but that’s because we love The Mutants. What would your what would your The Mutants like elevator pitch plot be for the movie?


Rosie Knight Okay, my The Mutants elevator plot would be Jubilee. She’s left home because of her powers. She meets a gang of kids who hang out at the mall, and they all sort of realize that they have these weird powers, maybe because they got in trouble because of an accident at the mall or something. Probably there’s an arcade or some kind of cool RoboCop two style hideout, and it would be about them learning to have their powers to work with that powers as this rise of anti powered people, anti mutant oppression was kind of coming and then you’d have your final stinger would be like. I left a Harry Potter style letter asking you to be part of the school or Charles Xavier stinger or something. But I’d focus on the kids and this notion of this ragtag, underground found family. What would yours be?


Jason Concepcion I’d do something actually quite similar. I think I do like mutant massacre without the massacre. So we’d be like Morlocks. You know, these teams.


Rosie Knight I think Morlocks is really likely because those are thet already live hidden from everyone else.


Jason Concepcion That’s right. So they’re on the run. They’re they’re living like that. Living hidden. And maybe the way it all kind of comes to the fore is, Charles, just for the good of mutants as a species, has been doing this mind wipe thing and suppressing people’s ability to understand that there are mutants, etc. but like he he there’s a discrepancy.


Rosie Knight Maybe there’s a kid who has a power that contradicts it. Or something


Jason Concepcion They have a memory that they shouldn’t have. And this unravels the whole mystery that leads us down to the tunnels, damage control or or the central program or somebody goes down there to to basically root out what they think are this community of outlaw powered people, but is really just like, you know, kids and outcasts living on the margins of society. And that blows the lid off of this entire secret society that’s been living underground.


Rosie Knight Oh, I love that. That sounds great, Marvel. Come to us. Well, we’ll help you.


Jason Concepcion Come to us baby.


Rosie Knight I know you’re just announcing The Mutants because people want X-Men stuff. I don’t I don’t believe as a pitch. We’re ready.


Jason Concepcion Up next. The summer of 1982 and Blade Runner.


Jason Concepcion <A.D.>


Jason Concepcion We’re stepping out of airlocks. You people have never seen into the rain soaked, shadow filled world of replicants Nexus three, four, five and six, and the grainy streets of 21st, almost 21st century Los Angeles to talk about the summer of 1982 and the sci fi masterpiece, Blade Runner. As chosen by you, the listeners of X-ray Vision for this to be our airlock topic. And what a fun one. First, let’s break down the poll results, shall we? So we had thousands of votes cast. Thank you so much. Blade Runner obviously came in, came in at the top. They beat beat out Swamp Thing, Poltergeist and Creepshow.


Rosie Knight Shocking.


Jason Concepcion In its bracket. Swamp Thing. Listen. Had no chance, but that’s a movie I’ve seen five hundred times.


Rosie Knight I loved that movie. That was like a very horror heavy bracket but it laid when it came out, it was like it was winning for the cult classics. And then the then the classics.


Jason Concepcion Poltergeist. Another one I’ve seen five.


Rosie Knight Oh, my God.


Jason Concepcion Billion, million, trillion times and Creepshow.


Rosie Knight Yep.


Jason Concepcion Stephen King’s debut again on screen performance.


Rosie Knight And now it’s comics. You know, Creepshow is all around comics.


Jason Concepcion So pulpy.


Rosie Knight So pulpy.


Jason Concepcion Amy Heckerling, classic Fast Times won in It’s Bracket versus Tron, The Thing and CONAN the Barbarian again. Other movies that I also love, Fast Times. It would have been I have seen Fast Times a lot of times. And I think that it’s depiction of the high school culture remains in many ways relevant. And I think Spicoli is probably one of the most influential characters. I mean, like we just got done talking kind of about Stranger Things and it’s like, you know, Spicoli is all over season four of Stranger Things, but I just meant Tron. Great. The Thing, stone cold, fucking classic. And then CONAN the Barbarian. Another movie that I’ve seen.


Rosie Knight Yeah, I mean.


Jason Concepcion A movie that scared me for a long time.


Rosie Knight In case you haven’t noticed a lot of really unbelievable movies came out in the summer of 1982, fourty years ago, hence why we did this bracket and every single one. I’m like, We could just do a whole Summer of 82 podcast where you do a different movie each week because it is just unreal.


Jason Concepcion Star Trek 2 beat Out the Dark Crystal. Oh, my god


Rosie Knight I love that movie.


Jason Concepcion First Blood, actually. A good movie.


Rosie Knight Yes. Shocking


Jason Concepcion Rocky three. Yeah. First Blood. A people forget because it became this like ridiculous, like right wing, like fantasy series where like fucking John Rambo goes to Afghanistan and helps the Mujahideen, like, defeat the Russians and all this fucking crazy shit. But like, the first First Blood, the first Rambo movie, was about like America’s shame and guilt at losing the Vietnam War and its failure to be responsible for the, for the veterans who were impacted by that war. It’s actually a fucking great movie.


Rosie Knight Unbelievably deep and complex and just kind of blows your mind when you will. If you haven’t watched it for a long time, go back and rewatch it because you will just be like, Oh, this is not what the series became.


Jason Concepcion Not at all. Dark Crystal I just love. I need more puppets. Star Trek 2, Wrath of Khan. Ricardo Montalban. I didn’t get that he was reprising his role as Khan from the TV. Like, I didn’t understand that at all. I saw this movie that came in later when I started watching the TV show, they they used to play reruns of Star Trek After Get Smart in the summertime on like the local TV.


Rosie Knight They still do that. As someone who watches broadcast TV, you can still watch those two shows in a row. I promise.


Jason Concepcion Oh, my God. So so it’s like Get Smart from 9 to 10 and then from like 11 to 1, it’s like back to back Star Trek. So I watched every Star Trek that way by just doing that. And then E.T., which again, the first time I saw my my mom cry was watching E.T. It was very it was it was I didn’t know what was happening. I was scared. And E.T. beat out Secret of NIMH Love the secret of NIMH.


Rosie Knight Iconic.


Jason Concepcion Mad Max 2, Road Warrior, also iconic in Grease 2.


Rosie Knight Grease 2, cult classic. L.A. Cult classic, especially people in L.A. Love Grease 2. And rightfully so. It’s actually a great movie and the songs are bangers. But I love that it has this very specific following in L.A..


Jason Concepcion It’s a fucking great movie.


Rosie Knight It’s so good.


Jason Concepcion What happened to Maxwell Caulfield? It’s like Maxwell Caulfield. I’m like, this guy’s a fucking star.


Rosie Knight Easy rider baby.


Jason Concepcion Anyway, let’s get into Blade Runner, 1982, directed by Ridley Scott, screenplay by Hampton Fancher and David Peeples. Impeccable iconic fucking score by the Greek musician Vangelis.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Concepcion Who absolutely, like. Shit still sounds futuristic.


Rosie Knight You can’t even.


Jason Concepcion So good.


Rosie Knight It’s so good. It’s like one of the best original soundtracks of all time. I mean, it’s also it’s so impactful to me that the biggest compliment I can give a film score is that it sounds like Vangelis. So like, yeah, Aquaman actually has a very Vangelis sounding soundtrack, and I just listen to it so much because I was like, Absolutely no one listens to this. Like, no one realizes that this exists and it is just so good. Yeah, Vangelis. Is the best.


Jason Concepcion And it is of course, based on the Philip K Dick story, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? The movie stars Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard, who may or may not be human. The American film debut of Rutger Hauer, German star Rutger Hauer as the ominous Roy Batty. Sean Young in her, I think, feature film debut as Rachel. Edward James Olmos as Gaff. M.Emmet Walsh as Bryant. Daryl Hannah as Pris. William Sanderson as J.F. Sebastian. Brian James as Leon Kowalski. Joe Turkel as Eldon Tyrell. And Joanna Cassidy as Zora. When did you first come into contact with Blade Runner?


Rosie Knight Well, Blade Runner is one of my mom’s favorite films. So this movie has been perennially in my life, my whole life. It was something we always had on VHS. I have seen many well, I’ve now seen every different one of the seven cuts. I have seen Blade Runner many times in the cinema, both the director’s cut and then when it was finally released, I saw one of the best experiences of my life regarding Vangelis, as well as I saw the final cut at the BFI, the British Film Institute on the Southbank in London, and the soundtrack was just like unreal. They had those big good speakers. So, you know, for me, this is just this is up there, like with movies like E.T. and and those Goonies, you know, like obviously it’s different artistic style. But to me, this is one of those perennial cinema classics that’s kind of always been in my life because it came out like six years before I was born.


Jason Concepcion Yeah, I can’t even remember when the first time I saw it was. But I will guarantee you that I didn’t understand it. When I the first, you know, 50 times out because I just didn’t I didn’t understand what was happening. And it wasn’t until later I was mostly responding to, wow, this is so cool.


Rosie Knight Yeah, the vibe. It’s a very vibe-sy movie.


Jason Concepcion I mean that, that first opening shot of future Los Angeles with the big noodle advertisement on the building and all the spinner ships coming through in the big blimp telling you, hey, explore the off world colonies. It was like, it legitimately looked like the most futuristic thing I had ever seen. And I was just completely blown away at how like lived in and real it looked.Like. I mean, Star Wars was lived in as well, but there was.


Rosie Knight Star Wars is like, it’s lovely, but it’s very of its time. And it was not it did not have a big budget. And it was definitely it has like janky moments, you know, like it was lived in and it looks great. Like, I love that aesthetic, but Blade Runner is like the use of miniatures, the cinematography.


Jason Concepcion Oh My God.


Rosie Knight It feels like a real world. And even in like the early nineties, which was realistically probably when I watched it, it felt so immersive and so unlike anything else that I’d seen it.


Jason Concepcion Let’s talk quickly about the cuts. So there are currently seven different cuts of the film. There is the first the original cut that came out in 1982, which I think it’s fair to say it was a disappointment in the box office. It was a flop. They were expecting more from it. Then came the VHS cut. Now, interestingly, the VHS cut was kind of like a back door extra cut because it differed significantly from the theatrical cut in notably in some of the fight scenes. There’s actually a warning on the VHS box. It says Warning. This film contains never before released scenes of graphic violence that were edsitted out of the theatrical release. And then this film, this is the cut that later became the laserdisc version from Criterion as well.


Rosie Knight I love that Criterion used to make laser discs, I think about that at least once a week.


Jason Concepcion So then came the U.S. broadcast cut in 1986.


Rosie Knight So there’s an international cut. The broadcast cut I don’t know if that really counts. It’s like an edited CBS cut, but like there’s a wiki for the virgins that Wikipedia page just has all seven because I think the next one was the it was basically like the work print.


Jason Concepcion Then came the work print in 1989.


Rosie Knight Is the and then that became the director’s cut.


Jason Concepcion Right. So then 8990 the work look the so-called work print emerges. Now this was discovered by a film preservationist and it made its debut, I want to say it like a 70 millimeter.


Rosie Knight It was very much like a rep screening, cult thing where somebody got a reel and it was like a myth of this like better version of the movie.


Jason Concepcion And it’s and it’s thought that this was a test audience screening.


Rosie Knight Oh, that makes so much sense. Pre voice over


Jason Concepcion Pre voiceover Warner Brothers wanted to see how the movie was going to test to figure out like how much promo and budgeting budgeting they wanted to put behind it and, you know, a process they still do today, although in a much more like computerized fashion. And so this is what they were showing to test audiences and somehow a reel state out there that somebody got a hold of.


Rosie Knight That’s what it used to be. That’s what cinemas used to be just bought up the old reels and.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight I mean I love that. How exciting that must have been.


Jason Concepcion So this cut. Is very similar to the theatrical cut except there’s no voiceover which had probably not been added at that point


Rosie Knight Yeah, yeah, yeah. And then and then that inspired this kind of fan call for a director’s cut or a recut version that was closer to what they imagined Ridley’s vision would be.


Jason Concepcion The movie ends in the elevator, so you don’t get that, that you know them driving through the country and.


Rosie Knight The happy ending as it’s called.


Jason Concepcion The happy ending. Right. This print was screened at the in 1990 at the Fairfax 70 MM Film Festival in L.A., which led to it got a great response. So Warner Brothers was like, okay, let’s release it in a in a limited style at two theaters, one in Los Angeles, one in San Francisco, and those just sold out. Here is a quote from the October 13th edition of The L.A. Times quote, Scott’s director cut has been playing to unprecedented audiences at the new art theater in West L.A. The film’s opening weekend.


Rosie Knight Iconic.


Jason Concepcion And set a house record, so people were just absolutely going crazy for this, quote, unquote, new cut of of Blade Runner, which was really almost like the.


Rosie Knight Original.


Jason Concepcion Old cut of the original original cut.


Rosie Knight And the funniest thing about it, as well as like your four years in at this point from when Blade Runner was. Oh, my God. No, no. You’re ten years in.


Jason Concepcion Ten years.


Rosie Knight This is like ten years. I know, Max. This is ten years. And so, like the I think you cannot discount the legacy and the legend that had built up at this point about the cuts and the was the voiceover didn’t used to be there and then it was there and then there’s a version where it’s not there. So that all makes a lot of sense to me. And you get this director’s cut that is not as Ridley told, it’s not really a director’s cut. It’s kind of a rush job that builds on the work print but doesn’t, like, do the thing that he wants. So, you know, ten years down the line and he’s still like, this is incorrect. This is not correct.


Jason Concepcion In doing research for this. I’ve I’ve been amused at any and all of the the video interviews with Ridley where he’s talking about the various cuts because he seems. At best, it’s like slightly bemused by the whole thing.


Rosie Knight Yeah yeah yeah. He’s definitely, I think he’s definitely in between, bemused and like not bothered. Where he’s just like.


Jason Concepcion I think that he, you know, and this is obviously me reading into it, but it feels like he’s put all this stuff away a long time ago and is like, You guys still care? Okay, fine. Yeah, let’s do this. And like, there’s, there’s like a there’s a a video, like an interview of him promoting the final cut, which is from 2007.


Rosie Knight Yeah. And then again, you know. 15 years later after the last cut.


Jason Concepcion And it’s literally. It’s literally it looks like there’s a gun off camera making it like he looks he’s just like, this is my favorite cut of the movie. We clean some stuff up and fix some of the continuity editted errors and made it look really great with the special effects and stuff. And this is my favorite cut of the movie and I enjoy it.


Rosie Knight The truth is like. I do believe that Ridley Scott probably loves working on films, but like imagine and, and, and specifically like the final cut, which is the version that we watched for this because it’s the version that’s most widely available. And also generally now is the version like that’s the. There are DVD box sets you can get that have different versions of them. But generally the final cut, which is very strange because it used to be that you could not see the final cut and it was a myth and then, you know, it was very limited release and you had to buy a crazy expensive boxset or whatever. But now you can watch it. You can stream it on Netflix, on HBO, Max. And that’s the version we watch. But like, imagine that you made something and then like decades later, people are still making you go back to that one thing. You would be stressed, you would be absolutely stressed.


Jason Concepcion I will say in some of the clips, in some of like the documentary footage of the different editors talking about the things that they wanted to do and then running it by the clips of him, them running it by Ridley, I think with with certain, with, you know, stuff like replacing Zora’s face in her death scene where she’s crashing through the glass so that it’s not obviously a stunt performer, I think, you know, and and cleaning up and brightening and shining up some of the really cool special effects. I think that stuff is fine, but there’s a lot of like there’s a lot of discussion of how many continuity errors in well Blade Runner and there are a lot.


Rosie Knight Yeah yeah yeah.


Jason Concepcion But and that’s when you can sense that Ridley’s like, all right, I made a fucked up movie. Enough, get off my ass.


Rosie Knight The curse of this nation of continuity. Like, some movies have plot holes, but some movies are just like animatic and you’re not supposed to know. And I think I actually think that speaks to the reason, one of the reasons that we kind of that any of this happened at all in something the the director’s cut kind of makes text in a way that wasn’t before, which is that big question of like, is Deckard a human, like you mentioned in The Thing, I think that that’s the major change that comes in this. We’ll kind of get into it more and we have a bigger convo about the movie. But it’s very interesting to kind of see the idea of plot holes and continuity become something where,.


Jason Concepcion Yeah, so let’s.


Rosie Knight You’d have to recut a film to fix them.


Jason Concepcion So let’s run that down. Okay, so we’re at the so the working cut comes out. Ridley in one of these documentaries about all the cuts, has this quote that I think sums up the kind of thing that Rosie and I have been talking about regarding his perspective on all these cuts. He says this is about the working the work print that emerged. I think it was just a great fuss about nothing. It was really just an accidental removal of the voiceover. And then the movie ends and then it ended in the elevator. That’s really about it.


Rosie Knight I kind of love.


Jason Concepcion Okay.


Rosie Knight I love that though like, you’re. You made a cool film that was just based on a story that you probably liked by a writer you liked, and you’re like, and then you cut it. And everyone’s reading really deeply into it. Like, it’s this philosophical puzzle box, and you’re just like, I just cut one scene. It’s not that deep.


Jason Concepcion And then so this but the word print, obviously, and the reception to it was super, super important in terms of, you know, kind of like setting in stone, the legend of Blade Runner that we live with today. It led directly to the 1992 director’s cut, as you were saying, Rosie, which is no voiceover, no happy ending. It ends in the elevator and then we get the unicorn scene, which suggests that Deckard is a replicant because he has been dreaming about these unicorns. And then Gaff, who has been making little origami figures, all movie that makes a little unicorn, which is if you want to believe that Deckard is a replicant, is Gaff saying I, I know what your memories are.


Rosie Knight Mm hmm. Like there’s some of program dream. In a sense, in the same.


Jason Concepcion In the same way, in And in the same way that you were like hey, Rachel, remember when you looked at that spider egg outside your window when you were a kid? Do you ever tell anybody that? Like, in this in that exact same way here is Gaff saying if you ever tell anybody you dreamt about unicorns, I know you do because you’re a replicant. So that’s the suggestion. And then in 2007, we get the final cut, which is all those major changes, right? The no voiceover ends in the elevator in the unicorn. Plus, the extra violence from the VHS cut from.


Rosie Knight The international, because obviously.


Jason Concepcion The International cut.


Rosie Knight Because International people love a good violence.


Jason Concepcion They love a good, vile, which is like Pris, you know, putting her fingers in Deckard’s nose and lifting his face and then Roy, you know, crushing Tyrell’s skull in it in a much more extended format, plus fixes for the various continuity errors, which are actually like really fascinating, including, as mentioned, putting Joanna’s 2007 scan face over the print so that it’s it’s not the stunt performer’s face in her death scene taking Ben Ford, Harrison Ford’s son, taking Ben Ford’s lips, having him read the dialog in the of the Egyptian animal dealer scene because I guess in the original, which I did and I never noticed any of this shit, but in the original prints the sound was not synched. So they got Ben Ford to say the dialog and then they digitally put his lips over his dad’s lips.


Rosie Knight Old school animation style.


Jason Concepcion In sync with the dialog and there’s a bunch of other stuff like that. Like, you know, Roy’s death scene when the dove is released, it’s raining. But then in the original, when you watch the dove fly up, it’s sunny. So they put the rain in.


Rosie Knight And there’s lots of brilliant people online who have broken down all of these for you in like a very. Oh, you can just watch all the cuts. I think that five of them are kind of widely available, but they are very fun.


Jason Concepcion So with that, let’s get into our thoughts about this movie. I will say, man, fucking holds up.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Concepcion Absolutely holds up. What are your thoughts, your just immediate emotional and intellectual reaction to watching Blade Runner the final cut in 2022?


Rosie Knight I just yeah, it’s so it’s one of those interesting things where it’s like it’s so influential that when you watch it, it could almost feel derivative. But it’s not because it’s the thing that everyone else is taking from, you know? So I think that’s always really interesting to watch a movie in that context where you sort of go, Whoa, this has just influenced so much stuff to the point of, you know, some of it’s to the point of parody. It gets parodied so much that that neon hued, bleak neo noir esthetic, you know, so many other sci fi movies have aped it. But it’s just I think it’s a really sad, sweet story about just trying to be a human. And I think that I’m trying to be, like, trying to do the right thing and all those kind of things that humans really care about. And I feel like it’s it’s very universal and it’s like it’s very cool. But also, like, I understand why it was like a film that my mom loved because, like, I feel like anyone could just watch this and find something in it to connect to with.


Jason Concepcion Yeah, I loved, the, which and this is like I didn’t pick up on this, in the hundreds of other times that I’ve watched this. But I love the way the robots hunger for there’s no robot culture. There’s no excuse me? There’s no replicant culture because they die after.


Rosie Knight Yeah, yeah. They’re they.


Jason Concepcion Live these extremely hard lives.


Rosie Knight That life is that their life span is made to deny them of culture or legacy or ancestry or anything that can be built because they’re only alive for so long. And they live these lives as like basically indentured servants.


Jason Concepcion So are are outlaws are essentially trying to create something like a replicant culture basically out of nowhere. And the best they can come up with is. Human culture. Like there’s this there’s this really great moment where Roy and Pris are at J.F. Sebastian’s. J.F. Sebastian is like one of the genetic engineers who is responsible for the products that the Tyrell Corporation makes. And Pris at one point said, like, you know, he’s there. He’s just, J.F. Is just realizing that these are Nexus six is the most advanced replicants. And Pris says, I think, therefore, I am. And then she looks at Roy like you know, really pleased with herself. And then Roy looks at her like he’s proud of what she does. Like, very good Pris. That’s great. It’s like, so why? Why do they follow Roy? Because Roy knows human stuff. Roy is the one who understands the meaning behind all these human sayings and human art and human music and culture and an appreciation of of the little things of what it means to be alive in the same way that humans appreciate those things. And he’s teaching them. He’s giving that to them because he’s the smartest of all of them. And I just found that, like, incredibly touching. Like, imagine you had no culture at all when you come from a people that have no idea where you come from. And the only way that you can kind of like build out your own view of the world is through the pieces that you take from these other people who created and enslaved you.


Rosie Knight Mm hmm.


Jason Concepcion It’s really fucking sad.


Rosie Knight Yeah. There’s a lot of really really interesting, dark, complex stuff. And I think that, like you talked about, you know, Roy and I think you just can’t underestimate how good Rutger Hauer is in this movie. Like, he’s he’s so emotionally charged and powerful and and and sad and righteously angry. And I think something that really even the happy ending, let’s put it in inverted quotes version of the movie like this is a very bleak movie. And I think that’s part of the reason that it stood the test of time because not really a lot of movies like that, that kind of embrace this inherent sadness of the world and inherent kind of grind.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Rosie Knight Because like that is the replicants life is a microcosm of, you know, most of our lives, like most people’s lives, is this dedicated to only being able to work and still trying to survive in this very brief amount of time that we have. And I just I yeah, I just think. It’s also like a really cool movie. I do think, I think that one of the biggest things that stands out to me in 2022, contextually and with much more understanding that I have and brilliant work done by many other people is just like it definitely plays into the the fear that America had of kind of like Japan is this.


Jason Concepcion Oh big time.


Rosie Knight All encroaching force. And I think it’s hard that was it’s hard to disconnect from that notion of it. Like that is what the explanation of the the way that neo L.A. looks. You know, is is very much based in that but I do also think it has a lot to offer and is is really interesting even in spite of the flaws.


Jason Concepcion I’m glad you brought that up because I feel very much the same way. Very complicated about the depiction of the influence of Japanese culture, Asian culture, East Asian culture on Neo L.A.. First of all, I feel compelled to note that the movie came out June 25th, 1982, and only six days before this, Asian-American Vincent Chen was murdered in Detroit with a baseball bat. And his two killers were autoworkers who were, you know, one of the reasons they cited for for why they flew off the handle and killed this guy with a baseball bat was that they were angry over Japanese cars being imported into the U.S., undercutting American the American auto industry, and leading to one of these killers losing their job. By the way, the men were fined $3,000 and did no jail time, although later in the suit, in a civil court case, there was a larger monetary settlement. So this was this fear of a rising Japan is like all over every movie from the eighties. There’s a there’s a you know, you could I could go through the litany of movies that that have this as an influence. But you really see it throughout the eighties ending with, I think Rising Sun is the last one like early nineties, where I really felt like, Oh, here’s another last one of these movies. But I will say here, the other thing about it is and there is a lot of appropriation here. But also, this is like one of the very few overt depictions of East Asia, particularly Japan, as a cultural power. Like as at. Like. It’s not just that Deckard is like eating noodles. He’s eating noodles at a stand that is worked by a, you know, Asian people. There’s Asian writing there. Everyone around him is Asian. It’s. It’s. It’s an it feels in that way because of that, it feels, it’s part of what gives the movie its staying power because it’s an acknowledgment of of Japanese culture as a worldwide force, something that was not really acknowledged certainly in the early eighties, like there was no perception of Japan as a cultural force internationally.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Concepcion And here in this movie, you’re showing that maybe for the wrong reasons.


Rosie Knight I was going to say.


Jason Concepcion Because of fear about Japan, but that’s part of what makes it feel like a vital and and current piece of art.


Rosie Knight It’s actually really interesting because it kind of speaks to something that I think comics do a lot as well, which is like intent versus impact. And that can be.


Jason Concepcion Right.


Rosie Knight That can be negative and positive. Like you can try and do something good, but the impact can be negative. Or as many of these like Blade Runner, I think a lot about, you know, the original character of Valkyrie in Marvel Comics who was presented to be this, like a feminist nightmare character. Who is this kind of like this is what would happen if women were, were actually powerful. It would be terrible. They would be villains. But instead, you created this totally badass character that ended up taking on an importance of its own. And I kind of think Blade Runner fits into that in its own way, though there’s been lots of brilliant and very, very legitimate critiques of that aspect. I also think that in its own way, it put a spotlight on certain parts of Asian culture or the idea of a cultural power that had been ignored and also has some really iconic Asian actress actors in it. You know, James Hong is one of my all time favorite.


Jason Concepcion James Hong the Legend like a fucking legend, James Hong


Rosie Knight You know, there’s a lot of really brilliant actors in this movie, and I just I think that’s a really interesting point that you bring up about that, where it’s kind of that like it was meant to be this kind of fear mongering thing, but it has this other element too that we put the power on by reading it in a certain way.


Jason Concepcion That’s exactly, thank you for for stating in a much more succinct way, the thing that I was trying to say. And then finally, the other, this is part of that conversation, but the other reason that I feel I have complex feelings sometimes about this movie is I love the look of Neo L.A. I you know, how how Drowned in rain it is, how messy it is, how everything is kind of like built on top of each other. But it is. It’s notable to me that. You know, we often talk about Blade Runner’s dystopian, a worse future. Like it, what makes it worse? Well, part of what clearly the intent was, how do we show that this is worse, we show it messy,  we show it dirty, etc.. But also it’s like, look at all these non-Americans.


Rosie Knight Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. All these immigrants like look at, yeah.


Jason Concepcion They’re not even speaking English. This is terrible, isn’t it? Now, again, what’s happened is, in the intervening years, this is this is actually how we live. This is part of life. And it’s not. It’s not. There are certainly people that take it in a very negative way. But this is just modernity.


Rosie Knight The irony is this is an.


Jason Concepcion Interconnected world.


Rosie Knight America is a you know, they the immigration has long been a part of the contemporary idea of America. Right. And also. Yeah. It’s just very ironic because the real dystopian aspects of Blade Runner, the legit, are like the pollution and the horrific climate crisis that is very, very real. Rather than any notion about that aspect. But yeah, yeah. Like you said, I mean, there’s so much stuff like I think this is why we love this stuff is like we love it and we want to talk about how great is and also pick it apart. And the reason we pick it apart is because we really enjoy it. Like this is such a brilliantly made movie, but obviously like the women in the movie are have a very specific way of being represented. Now I personally think there’s actually a lot of power in like Rachel’s Story and I love Pris is like such a brilliant character, but they both also fall into tropes this. But then again. You know, we talk about this. This is a film that’s meant to fall into tropes like Blade Runner. We talk about how it’s original and it is original. In a science fiction Hollywood space. But it’s also a noir Philip Marlowe, PI story just thrown into this. You have to have this inversion. Rachel is, you know, the femme fatale, but she’s not. Pris is actually kind of the femme fatale. It’s really there’s a lot of cool ways that it that it plays and subverts those tropes. And I think that’s another reason. I mean, when you think about neo noir, this is the movie you think of not like a 2022 noir that set in the contemporary day. You think of a 1982 movie that was set in a future that we’ve now passed. That’s mad.


Jason Concepcion You know, as a as a just kind of a, as a meaning to get some context to kind of like what sci fi and future sci fi was like doing at this time. I also watched Escape from New York, which is like the East Coast version of The Future Is Worse. Also set in, you know, the late nineties, early 21st century, 1999, New York has been turned into a prison island. Kurt Russell, a, you know, Snake Plissken, this ex military guy who has been imprisoned for, you know, running heists, we are to assume is then given a one shot deal to to gain his freedom if he goes into New York and frees the president whose plane has crashed there and has been taken prisoner by the gang, the king of New York, the gang leader of New York. That is another movie where. Okay. How do we show that New York is worse? All the you know, it’s overrun with criminals, many of whom are black and brown, and all the female characters are in prison. You don’t see any of them outside. And all the people in power who who run the prison and the people in the jet with the president, except for the female terrorist who crashes the plane, are all white guys.


Rosie Knight I will say, though, John Carpenter does a good job in that movie. Right? The subversion


Jason Concepcion The subversion. But then the subversion, much like Blade Runner is it’s actually a statement about how America sees certain groups. And it’s it’s basically about how the only way we’re comfortable and when I say we, I say like America, the only way America is most comfortable with people of color in the context of law enforcement enforcing the law, enforcing their laws on them. And the same thing with women. Why are all the women in jail? Because America is most comfortable with women when they are imposing their laws on them. And it’s that kind of thing where jeez on the on the surface, I’m not sure how to feel about this. And then you dig down a little bit and you’re like, Oh, shit, this is actually, whether you meant this or not. This is actually brilliant.


Rosie Knight Exactly. And I think that Blade Runner does a similar thing. Like that’s a really great comparison because Escape from New York, you know, the president’s sucks.


Jason Concepcion Yeah, he’s a piece of shit.


Rosie Knight And all the people around the president suck. So this high, this hierarchal white American elite is actually also the villain. And I think something that Blade Runner done is the notion of like corporations is a villain, you know? Tyrell That’s one of the villain. So even though they there are these things in there that if you want to read into them that way, you can seem quite radical. I mean, I’ve what I love John Carpenter so much. So I watch Escape from L.A. and Escape from New York and an Escape from L.A. actually, quite a lot. I love Escape from L.A.. Of course I do. Come on, it’s me. I love every move. I love every bad sequel. But like or sequel that other people think is bad. I think it’s good. Both times when I watched those movies, I’m like, I’d like that. I’m like, Just let me live in there. I’m like, the demilitarized zone where there. It’s like Lawless and there’s no law enforcement. I’m like, Please put me in there. Like, let’s get to that dystopia, because. I think that could a good thing could come out of that.


Jason Concepcion What’s your what’s your favorite Blade Runner scene?


Rosie Knight My. Okay, so I know that the common answer is the Rory Batty speech, which is so amazing and like I said, Rutger Hauer was so great. But my favorite scene is the stuff, I love the noir stuff between Rachel and Deckard. I love to enhance something I still crow every single day.


Jason Concepcion That is.


Rosie Knight And whenever.


Jason Concepcion One of the most quietly iconic scenes.


Rosie Knight Now and like every TV show, whether you’re watching fucking Stranger Thingsor NCIS or probably like East Enders. Somebody is enhancing a fucking photo in a way that could never be enhanced. But my favorite stuff is the J.F. Sebastian and Pris stuff because I think that stuff is just so moving. That stuff just blows my mind every time I watch it. It gets me in in a gut punch. It, it makes me almost so uncomfortable that I don’t want to watch it, but I warmed to it, and I just think it’s so good.


Jason Concepcion I. I was about to say the exact same thing where there are entire. They can’t call it a meet cute but like when you know when she engineers they’re bumping into him. Everything that follows from their talking about how old he is. He’s got this genetic disorder that’s making him age faster and they connect over that. The fact that he his entire apartment is filled with these robots that are his friends, he doesn’t have friends, so he makes them. The fact that they’re both weirdly on like the same kind of maturity level, despite the fact that they are outwardly like adults. One, because Priss is like three and a half or whatever, you know, clearly nearing her date. And and J. F. Sebastian is just a person who like has been shunned by the world and is operating on intellectual level that doesn’t allow him to connect to people. It’s actually like it’s actually heartbreaking. I do have one question which is like, why the fuck is J.F. Sebastian like boiling six eggs forever on hisself?


Rosie Knight He’s just a weirdo. That’s just like his weirder. You got to. I mean, I still say in my house. Home again, home again. Jigity, jig. That’s like a phrase, you know? Yeah. I think that I think that the something that that movie does very well that is very effective is that the notion of that similarity or bloodline between like the toys that J.F. has in his house and yeah, the replicants like that kind of the replicants are seeking out this humanity. But really, they’re just these these toys, you know, these these ballerina kind of dolls. And Daryl Hannah is so brilliant as Pris. I mean, Sean Young is also so, so wonderful as Rachel. You know, I just think that I always remember, Pris made me feel so sad as a little kid. And those kind of memories really stick with you. You know, you’re less bothered about the romance or the this and than that. But. But those things that that gut check you that’s really that’s really what gets you.


Jason Concepcion Yeah. I’d feel the same way. Just anything about being alone and trying to connect with anyone, literally anyone else about anything. That was the thing that really stood out to me. That and the fact that I don’t think I had seen a movie up to that point that had ever, like really explored, not that I would have called it a moral question, but the moral question of are if robots are as smart as us with thoughts like us, then are they alive and what is? How do we treat them? You know, 2001, which I maybe had seen around the same time, kind of.


Rosie Knight It’s a lot more exoteric. This definitely has a lot more of a emotional heart.


Jason Concepcion Yeah. With Hal is mainly like a psycho, you know, like just like a companion and then a psycho killer. And it’s not really until the end where he’s, like, begging for his life. Like, Dave, I’m afraid, don’t unplug me where you are, like, whoa, oh, God. What? What is this? But Blade Runner is all of that. And that is something that I could not stop thinking about when I first saw the movie. Yeah, if you if we could make, like, if we can make Robby the Robot or, or or Tweedy from Buck Rogers. Like, then. How could you just turn them off?


Rosie Knight Exactly.


Jason Concepcion Like R2 or like or C3PO. Like, why is it. Why would it be okay to just turn them off then.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Concepcion And that is something I. This movie inspired me to think about and I have not been able to stop thinking about since. Do you have any any other favorite moments from the movie?


Rosie Knight And I just the whole movie is is really quiet when you watch it, especially if it’s been I love to listen to people who are like younger than me talking about it because I feel like it’s such a perennial part of my life that it’s almost like a cozy blanket. But, you know, we were. To me, this is like it fits into that, like, popcorn movie realm, but like an older driven popcorn movie. Like, you know, I would say the first Jurassic Park fits into that, though it’s definitely more on the popcorn side of the spectrum. But, you know, E.T. definitely, Jaws. Movies where there’s a lot of moments where I saw Jaws on the beach in Long Beach, which is just brilliant. But like, I’ve seen that movie so many times by thinking when I was on the beach, I was like, There’s a lot of kids there, you know? It’s a lot of families. It’s free screening and there’s a good like 25 minutes of them, just like getting drunk and singing Sea Chanties. And I was like, How is this the movie that made a blockbuster summer, be a thing, you know? So I think that this fits into that realm for me where there’s just so much that I like about it. And watching it is kind of like a. It’s just a comfort thing at this point. I mean, I’m not I’m not. There was a lot of other movies that in my grand scheme of movies, I. I would place higher than Blade Runner now probably most a lot to do with the closeness I have to the movie, but like I was not at all surprised this was the movie that our very clever listeners picked because this is the iconic there’s so many movies from 1982, but this is that movie that has taken on this legacy.


Jason Concepcion I think you could very easily argue it’s the most influential like. But you know, there’s any number of interviews with filmmakers, Christopher Nolan, etc., who have said, Oh, Blade Runner, that really inspired the kind of look and feel of what we’re trying to do.


Rosie Knight Yeah, everyone wants to make their own Blade Runner.


Jason Concepcion Yeah, with that. We know we must now bring in super producer Saul. Who loves this movie and wants to talk about his feelings about Blade Runner.


Rosie Knight Yes, Saul has some of the, Saul has some very insightful takes on why the movie has had the legacy it has on like a thematic level or an emotional level. And, and, yeah, and I’m just I’m really excited from to dig into them.


Saul Rubin Well, thank you for that. Well, I mean. It’s the legacy of Blade Runner, I think is like as you guys have alluded to or talked about a lot, it’s a really complicated. It’s like it’s not a flawless movie. But again, like what movie is it’s like to paraphrase Gaff, it’s like who, you know, she can’t live. But who does? Like who.


Jason Concepcion Who really does.


Rosie Knight Who really does.


Saul Rubin And I you know, I think. To me, like, really, I’m a person who really believes in, like, loving something, flaws and all. Like, that’s just part of art. And I think Blade Runner is a movie that really has that quality of, like you I like is Rick Deckard kind of like a passive, weirdly, like kind of a creep. Yeah 100%. Is Roy Batty the true anti villain hero of the film? Like 100% like. Is it are there a lot of strange, like, religious iconography that somehow, like, fit but don’t fit in? You’re kinda like, why is he misquoting William Blake all of a sudden? Like, it’s a really random thing, and yet it works and it’s. And it’s stagy and, you know, like, but. Like one thing I love about Blade Runner. Like, I have a very personal connection, like. Like Rosie does to the movie. Like, I think the first time I saw it was like, maybe when I was nine or ten. And at the same time, my grandfather was, you know, getting diagnosed with dementia right around that time and I think the first time, as Jason said, as you watch it, you don’t you don’t know what it’s fucking about. It’s just like it’s it’s it’s hovercrafts. It’s like shadows. There’s cigarettes. People are staring longingly at cameras. They’re kind of. You’re just kind of like, whoa, what is. What is this? But. Watching it over and over again over the nine years or so that my grandfather basically went from vitality to husk of himself. Something about that. Like I just stayed with you about the movie Blade Runner. And I think the reason it did, I didn’t even realize it until I just revisited it for this episode and rewatched it again for the dozen, half dozen, you know, whatever time was just like. It’s a movie, unlike a lot of movies that like to me like really centers memory. And dementia is like watching my grandfather lose his memory and seeing that memory was such a core part of him and a core part of everybody. Like, it’s like that’s who we are. Like those experiences.


Jason Concepcion Yeah, one of the. Sorry. Go ahead.


Saul Rubin No, I was going to say in losing it, like, watch my grandfather lose it. And then to see these characters, whether they’re human or replicant and like talk about memories or like have these photographs. And photographs are a big thing for me. Like artifacts. Like we talk with the artifact era of the MCU. And to me, like, Blade Runner is a movie that understands, like, the physical artifacts that we carry or like the tokens that we keep with us to memorialize the past and the forgotten or not forgotten and something about it touches me on that way, about the way centers, memory and feel for all of the characters and the things that they experience.


Jason Concepcion Let’s talk about you mentioned Deckard being a little bit of a creep.


Saul Rubin Oh, yeah.


Jason Concepcion It’s it’s impossible to not note in the light of 2022, the scene where he and Rachel have it out in his apartment. He’s, you know, she knows now that she is a replicant. She’s trying to flee, but he keeps her from leaving and doesn’t attack her, but it’s very clear that he keeps her from it like she wants to leave and he doesn’t let her. Now, on the one hand, it’s creepy. There’s another reading which I want to run by you, which I don’t know if I believe in, but obviously there’s this big question of whether Deckard is a replicant. And he just we had just seen him reel off multiple memories that Rachel had never told anyone about that he knew about. Is there a way to read this scene as, I, Deckard, have just looked into this replicants files. I know about her memories. I know how she’s going to react. And I know that this is not crossing a line.


Rosie Knight I wonder I think it’s actually a very prescient Blade Runner moment, because I think that you could read it as like if he is a replicant, which I think all three of us are on that side of, like a big conversation we still have today about the notion of technology taking on the the personality traits and the the bigotry and the beliefs of the people who created it. So I kind of always feel like he’s misogynistic or he’s not afraid of being violent to women because that’s who programed him. You got to do what you need to do. You’ve got to kill someone. That to me, I kind of I kind of like that reading where it’s not even a conscious decision. It’s just kind of that’s how he was programed.


Jason Concepcion I mean, in the same way that Pris says, I think, therefore I am. Does she know what she’s talking about? Does she know where that quote comes from? She’s just doing the thing that she’s heard because that’s what you do. That’s the information she’s been given. It’s a very similar thing, way to read that. Yeah


Saul Rubin To me, though, like that’s the critical part of it. Like you said, like Pris is doing what she’s been told or what she’s seen or understood from from her surroundings. Like that’s just what being a human is too.


Rosie Knight Yeah yeah yeah. That’s what kids do,.


Saul Rubin There’s no there’s no difference between that and a replicant. Like Rosie, you mentioned, like we’re all on the same side as Deckard. And like, if you pressed me, I would say yes, Deckard is a replicant. Like, I believe that. I agree that. But I actually think it’s kind of a trick question.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Saul Rubin Like, I don’t think it actually matters in the fact that we ask, is he a replicant or a human is.


Rosie Knight That’s the point.


Saul Rubin Is a trick question. It’s the point like the fact that we’re asking is because we’re missing something critical, which is that there is no difference.  They’re. They are the same thing, just at radically different points in their life. Like I. I wrote a long set of docs for this conversation thinking about the movie and like there are three preoccupations I think the movie has for me at least when I watch it and it’s memory, time, and aspiration. And it’s like the characters are obsessed with memory and thinking about the past and and having these memories and visual memory particularly comes of all the time. The replicants are always killing people by plugging in their eyes. It’s like that’s that’s for whatever reason, like one of the weirdest ways of killing a person. But this is how they kill people is just let me just plug your eyes out and time like they’re always talking about time. Time to die. I mean, like, got to find more time. It’s about incepted with death. And it’s like, if you knew when you were going to die, if you knew you’re incept date like or the end point, the way that these replicants are trying to find out, wouldn’t you want to know? Wouldn’t we all ask?


Rosie Knight Also as well I think all humans do live that way like we only. Yeah. Even though we have a, you know, however much time we have, we don’t know how much time we have. We just know it’s limited. There’s no way that that ends. And I think in that way that and the aspect of memory as a key tenet of humanity, I think both of those things pushed that notion of the point of that replicants and humans are very similar.


Saul Rubin And it’s to that to to your point about like you said like you we have limit amount of time you have to live knowing the limit of time that’s aspiration that’s carpe diem like in some ways is Roy Batty just like carpe diem ing the shit out of like what he’s doing. Like it’s just seize the day and he’s just he’s got only so much time and you see that at the end when he’s just he’s like literally, I’m going to stick a nail in my fist. Also nice little Jesus reference, but he’s going to stick a nail in his fist because he he only has so much time and he’s just trying to make it count and. You know, like I think again, flaws and all with the movie and I fully see like there’s so many problems with the movie and like, you know, continuity years, I think, are like the least of the issues.


Rosie Knight Yeah, for sure.


Jason Concepcion I never noticed until they started getting fixed.


Rosie Knight I’vr never been a  plot hole guy or. I like to know it’s a funny continuity error, but generally I’m a go with the flow, go with the vibe of the movie, and if it doesn’t take away from that, that’s not something that I tend to notice.


Jason Concepcion Let’s let’s end with finally. Why do we believe Deckard is a replicant? On the pro side, we have the unicorn scene. On the con side, we have that all the replicants are super fucking strong and Deckard is just a fucking guy. What’s up? Why do we believe that Deckard is a replicant, Saul?


Rosie Knight Yeah yeah yeah and Saul, talk about it in the context of, like, I like this notion where it doesn’t matter. So why does it matter to people that he is or why does it matter to that question that he actually is?


Saul Rubin I think if I was pressed again, like I would say Deckard is a replicant. Like, why does it matter? People ask the question because you want to create some, I think, it’s natural to create some kind of distinguishing characteristics between people. Like this is what we do is like you kind of have implicit biases that you just sort of draw. And I think I know in my mind people create a distinguishing. And yes. Is Decker super strong? No. But like he fucking he does manage to kill all of them. Right. Well I mean, Roy Batty sort of dies on his own.


Rosie Knight Like he’s got like the Batman-Joker death. Where it’s like, is that his fault, it isn’t is fault?


Saul Rubin Like, yeah.


Jason Concepcion I mean, he doesn’t kill. He doesn’t kill Ian either.


Saul Rubin Yeah. Rachel. Rachel handles that job, which is like. I mean. I don’t know. I just think like is Decker a replicant? Yes, but do I care? Like, not really. Like, I’ll be honest. Like, that’s not a question I have ever really thought about in in the sense that, like, I thought that was just a given. And like, to me, the real important question is not like, is he a replicant? But like, why are we even asking if he’s replicant? Like, should it matter? I don’t think it really does.


Rosie Knight I think it I think it is one of the interesting things. Right. Like, it doesn’t it doesn’t in that way. It’s like Schrodinger’s replicant like to understand is like to understand the movie and care about it. You have to ask the question. I believe he is. I always thought, ever since I was a kid, I just thought that was the movie. And it was really shocking to me when I kind of realized that wasn’t the text of the movie because I just thought, Well, I think this is an empathy thing. And I think I didn’t realize as a kid, but like I was wondering like, well, why would a human kill them? Like, I just didn’t really understand. I knew humans wanted to kill them. But wouldn’t you have that choice to not, you know. To me, I think the reason I think the reason why the biggest argument for why Deckard is a replicant, aside from the proof, which I feel like in 2007, Final Cut is pretty succinctly like he is. I just think it’s the narrative option that has the most tragedy in a very tragic story. I think it’s.


Saul Rubin Yeah.


Rosie Knight Like Jason said, it’s actually incredibly cruel because he’s not the smartest or fastest, he’s not the newest. And he has like every other replicant, he has a notion that he has existed for a certain amount of time. We don’t know. For all we know, he literally just woke up that first moment that we saw him. That’s when he got. And everyone around him just has to act like it because they know what his skills are. I think that is incredibly sad in like the best bleak Blade Runner way. And I think that’s why for me, even if Ridley Scott came out and was like, he’s not a replicant, he’s never meant to be a replicant, I’d be like, cool. This is yeah, I mean. You know, I’m like, this is just my head canon like, and that works for me as well. Like my, my read of the story. That’s what makes it work for me is, is the sadness of that and the hope that maybe him and Rachel find some connection in this unexpected light reveals of their lives or whatever.


Jason Concepcion Here is here is why I believe that Deckard is a replicant, one, the unicorn, obviously. And then two, although that then gets us into how did Gaff know? How does he seen the file? Like how did, blah, blah, blah, whatever. We can figure that out later. But the real the real to me, the real proof is that in this society, replicants do all the hard work. They do all the dangerous shit they are. They are the ones sent to the mines. They are the ones sent off world go work like fuck. And next to the sun. They’re the ones they are the ones who they are the ones who do Seth’s work. They are the ones who do the dangerous shit. It’s not the fucking lieutenant or Gaff or anybody that goes and chases the replicants. Why would they do that? It’s too dangerous.


Rosie Knight Yeah. That’s actually such a good point.


Jason Concepcion Get the replicant. Get the replicant, It can go do the dangerous shit. That’s why I believe he’s replicant. And as to why does it matter? I agree. And I like Rosie. I agree and I disagree. I think it it doesn’t matter in the sense that. Everybody in this story is alive and is a conscious being. It matters in the sense that. Like you mentioned, Saul, that like you have to accept this movie, warts and all. I think we are in a conversation about like what makes a living thinking being a living thinking being. You have to also for me, I also have to accept like the human state, warts and all. And I think an absolutely essential part of being a person is, who’s like me and who is not like me? Are they part of our group or are they part of. Are they not part of our group? Are they human or are they not human? Are they from here or are they not from here? Are they American or are they not American? And I think that question is Deckard like us or is he not like us. Is  he like them, or is he like us is an essential question, because that’s an essentially human question that is both extremely dark and destructive and is also like extremely welcoming when you decide that, hey, we are all yes, we are all thinking beings and we are all the same. We’re there’s something universal going on here. But I think that that desire to exclude as much as include is just part of what drives us. And I think that’s why it’s important.


Saul Rubin When I was talking about biases earlier, that’s I think that’s what I mean, the biases people have towards others, the default is asking those questions. And again, I guess maybe this is more of a not deeper philosophic question, you would say. Like this is what humans do, and I agree with that. But I guess the next level down is like, well, why do we have to do that? Like, is there a way to not do that? Should should we shouldn’t is there some way like. You know.


Jason Concepcion We haven’t figured it out.


Rosie Knight Yet, have figured out how to use it.


Saul Rubin And we’re certainly not going to figure it out in this episode of X-Ray Vision.


Rosie Knight But I’m just like, you’re right. And I think that that actually might be the secret of the true dystopian nature of Blade Runner, is that instead of. Having the time and the space to wonder about that question, the movie just tells you there is a difference and that’s what matters and everyone perceives it that way? I think that’s the difference between like a dystopian story and like a utopian story wherein a vision of a utopian future would imagine and ask that question of why? And and why? Who? Who were the ones who made us ask that question? What is the nature of society that makes you have to ask, is it us or is it them? I think that’s that big difference. And that’s another part of that power, that dystopian, bleak power of Blade Runner is it’s more of just a statement on that fact that the the people who are the workers, the people who suffer and they are the other, you know, that’s that’s like a such a real world tragedy.


Saul Rubin Yeah.


Jason Concepcion Well, Saul, thanks so much for joining this conversation. We’re going to more stuff like this where we pick different movies, different shows, different things to talk about, as, you know, as time allows in our schedule. Up next, Hive Mind with Miss Marvel showrunner Bisha Ali. Welcome to the Hive Mind, where we explore a topic in more detail with the help of expert guests. We are absolutely thrilled to feature an interview between Rosie and Miss Marvel showrunner Bisha Ali.


Rosie Knight We are so thrilled to welcome to X-ray Vision the series creator, head writer and executive producer of Ms. Marvel, Bisha K. Ali. Bisha, thank you so much for joining us.


Bisha K. Ali Thank you for having me. That was a great like an M.C. bringing you on stage introduction. I’m very impressed with the energy you bring back. What a treat. Thank you for having me. It’s such a pleasure.


Rosie Knight We’re such fans of this show. Like Ms. Marvel is such an important character for me. I used to work in a comic shop.


Bisha K. Ali Oh which comic book shop? In the U.S.?


Rosie Knight Orbital.


Bisha K. Ali OMG. I love Orbital.


Rosie Knight They’re the best.


Bisha K. Ali I love Orbital. Yeah that’s great. I feel like Orbital is where I first picked up. Did I buy it from you?


Rosie Knight It could have happened.


Bisha K. Ali I feel like it Orbital was where I first picked up Ms. Marvel, the comic, back in 2014.


Rosie Knight It was one of the I was there a little bit later, but even then it was still one of the perennial excuse me, what’s a good comic to buy?


Bisha K. Ali Yes.


Rosie Knight It’s Ms. Marvel. It’s volume one.


Bisha K. Ali 100%. And content. So the saga of its day.


Rosie Knight Right. It what it was, it was the first time in a long time that a book took the whole comic book fandom by storm. Everyone wanted to read it, six, seven, reprint something that barely happened in those days of the first issue. So what was kind of this is a great reaction. What was kind of your comic book slash Ms. Marvel origin story? That’s something we talk about a lot on here. What got you to fall in love with the medium and this character.


Bisha K. Ali In terms of the medium kind of comic books generally I mean, I was 2014 to me. I was I can’t even do the math right now what was like six, seven, eight years ago. So I was in my early, early mid-twenties by then. So in terms of like formation of comic book fandom, I, I used to go to the library and get the comic books out because they weren’t really, they wouldn’t really  age check them with other books, kind of accounting, library like yeah, sure you want to read Preacher, you nine year old, go for it.


Rosie Knight Watchmen Inc, You go for it.


Bisha K. Ali Indeed. So and also I think my brother was into it as well. So he was reading Preacher and then he finished it and then I’d read it. So it was kind of that was part of that time. And also I think my mum would like drop us off at the library, go do the whatever she’d do on the high street, and that’s where we’d be reading comic books as well. So Preacher was a big one for me. Like I read the very far too young Swamp Thing that was more run on Swamp Thing. Just I still have that yearning for that comic book, somehow there’s something about inherently tragic about that character that I just feel a deep affinity to.


Rosie Knight We’re really kindred spirit. I actually have a Swamp Thing tattoo.


Bisha K. Ali Oh, really? I was about to show me in real time. I love that. I like that. Noted.


Rosie Knight But yeah. Iconic. Iconic influences.


Bisha K. Ali No. Absolutely. And I think also Sandman. My goodness. Like woof, woof. You know, all those things are really kind of there in terms of I so I was reading those kinds of comics growing up, but I wasn’t really and my mum grew up reading comics. She bought comics, a lot of DC comics while she was a kid in Pakistan. So that was part of her universe as well. She kind of had pocket money and go buy like latest issues and stuff or often kind of old, but whenever they came through and she would get them. But so comic books have kind of, my mum’s had a realtionship with them. I’ve had my own relationship with them and so it was always just part of the fabric of the stories I was consuming alongside. I was like an indoor kid, I loved TV, movies, books. That’s really what raised me. I would say in a lot of ways it’s a kind of fast forward to 2014 in which I believe I was telling you about the comics and picked up the issue one kind of like single issues back then. I just don’t have the emotional energy anymore. Back when I was a single issue collector, that’s when I first picked up Ms. Marvel, and it was such a, I think, something very classic about what this comic book is, but also incredibly new. I think just kind of speaks to what you’re saying in terms of its popularity and why it was so kind of beloved at the time, especially, and certainly now too, but also just the fabric of the artwork felt so rich, it felt so detailed. There’s in-jokes in the backgrounds and that, yeah, it was incredible. That’s so much was so and maybe now, I mean now as an adult diagnosed with ADHD, something so appealing about the level of sensory input this comic book has given you. You know, it’s like now I’m doing the math in real time with you. As I say that, I’m like, Wait, that does make a lot of sense. So there’s something about that, that so just you just kind of gravitate towards that comic book. And I think that’s regardless of who you are in terms of your background, then you do add an additional layer of like this is a Pakistani second generation character. I’m like, Oh, that’s me and that’s really me. That’s a very visceral reaction as well that I had when I first picked up this comic. So that was really my kind of that was a year before I was even a television writer or a TV and film writer, I should say. So then kind of fast forward five years and I’m working in Marvel Studios on the Disney lot in L.A. and I’m like, What is my life? And just realizing there’s a potential for this show that this might be they’re going to be doing kind of really putting myself forward and saying, you got to you got to get me in that room. You got to you got to put me in the room with the people who are making those decisions. Because I want to do this. I really feel like I have so much love and respect for this comic and for this character. And I also know how to make television. So I want to do yeah, I want to be part of this process. That’s pretty much the origin story.


Rosie Knight Yeah, yeah. I mean, and then that happened. And not only were you in the room, you were leading that room like a small.


Bisha K. Ali I was the guy


Rosie Knight You were the guy. How did it feel to become the Miss Marvel guy?


Bisha K. Ali Terrifying. Actually terrifying me. A delight. It was truly it was truly wonderful. I think it’s a I think once you’re in kind of your problems, your life becomes your day to day life. And also, I was living in L.A. I kind of moved there to work. I moved there for a show I started working on two years before, which was the first show I got in the U.S., which was Four Weddings and a Funeral and when I left. The reason I bring this up is when I went, it was kind of you’ve got you’ve been given this job, you’ve been given this opportunity to go and kind of do like a build towards a dream that you have of making television and film. I’m going to go. But I also kind of uprooted myself in this moment. So it wierdly felt, I don’t know, I’m not a big destiny person, but there’s this weird, like, feeling of, Oh, this was why. This is why I did this. Like, this is yet what I was building towards. And it kind of you don’t realize until you’re in. And then suddenly you’re like, Wait, I’m doing this. And I think that I’m talking from a very personal perspective in terms of my own experience life. Like, Yeah, yeah, I felt. If I like an answer to a question I was asking myself that I didn’t even know I was asking. I dunno if that makes sense.


Rosie Knight Yeah. No it does. I mean, I was working in comic book shops and bars until I moved here when I got to actually become a writer. And now I’m interviewing you. Someone else who moved to America about one of my favorite comics has now become one of my favorite Marvel shows. There’s The World Has A Strange Way of working.


Bisha K. Ali And what you seek is seeking you.


Rosie Knight What I’m saying? What you seek is seeking you. Well, something you touched on about your mum’s love of comics and all of it kind of speaks to one of the things that me and Jason and the whole crew here just loved about Ms Marvel, which was this this inter-generational hero’s journey of finding connection between these these women in this family. So could you talk a little bit about building that in and why it was so important to Kamala’s journey?


Bisha K. Ali Yeah, something that I think we’re really hungering for this this idea that her powers and I mean this beyond just the physical manifestation of her powers, I mean, also the emotional kind of point that she has to get to in order to be able to yield them are rooted indeed for generations of women. And her superpower is that she’s not just by herself. She’s met all of these women. And I think that felt so clear to us as we talked about what we wanted to do with the show and the fact that we’re kind of breaking a television show that’s going to set her up to be match ready for whatever’s going to happen to her next. It’s a different arc. It’s a very specific journey she has to go on. And what’s important to us was not this not a narrative about who am I versus the world that’s going to marginalize me, that that wasn’t the focus of it. It was really in the US versus them of it all. Well, what does us mean? Like, what do I look at when I say what us and what does that really what are the conversations that I have not had in my own home that I wish I’d had or that? So the other writers in the room who are from a similar background, one of the things that we’re scared to touch, so scared to look at that feel too painful, that feels too much or too big, oh my god, I wish that we could have had that kind of healing journey for ourselves. And.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Bisha K. Ali Nobody. I felt, I can’t say this for everybody, but I felt really scared. I was like, I’m scared that we’re going down this route and I relayed that to the team is always like, the team being the writers. And for me, I often the thing happens. I feel scared about something. I’m like, okay, I guess that means I have to do it.


Rosie Knight So your body, your mind’s telling you this is the right way.


Bisha K. Ali This is the thing about me. But no, I think so. That inter-generational piece is so important to us, and the way it was meted out and kind of set up across the show is kind of beyond kind of breaking the emotional arc and then informationally, like how are we going to get the audience on board with this too? Was it we’re experiencing it all through Kamala’s perspective, and that was all really, really important. Throughout the construction of every element of this was everything we’re experiencing with seeing it through Kamala’s eyes and seeing her internal world, her psychology, literally, and the environment around it, you could see it. And that was so important, yeah, I was so with this character. And that’s the only way we could get away with the information that we need to share, because she’s around me in real time, too. She’s hearing these stories, snippets of the things that she doesn’t fully understand. She’s seen the impact on her mother. Her mother doesn’t speak about Aisha. She then going into the more information head grandmother, Sanaa, she’s got a different way of dealing with this trauma that’s kind of affected all of them in that she’s so expressive about it. She’s doing artwork about it. She’s spoken about it so much that it’s her own daughter. So she Kamala is going back to these generations before she’s even going literally back. She’s emotionally going back through generationsof learning about this in real time, just as the audience. And so I like how that played out.


Rosie Knight Yeah, I was I thought I thought. It was wonderful. Another thing I absolutely loved about it was the end game of it was acceptance and support. And also then, you know, Monica becoming a coconspirator in Ms. Marvel’s journey that to me, to see them be proud and it not be a place of conflict or a secret identity or a lie that has to be held as a part of family. That was very powerful. And something I think is missing in a lot of superhero.


Bisha K. Ali I think this is what makes a unique right is that her family, they are with her. I think that’s important to us of like that’s what makes her unique in the MCU, in the cinematic universe. And it’s also she’s literally wearing symbols of their love as she goes out to be a superhero. Every single kind of family she’s got from Bruno’s a kind of family to to the Red Daggers who are part of our history in our family as well. So she’s literally wearing that on her every day. And whatever she’s doing going forward, all those symbols exist and they’re there now for good. And we’re so excited about the fact that she’s that she was in the fabric of like the love of the people around her as she goes into whatever Avengers Annex. And that was so satisfying to be able to mandate. And you’re exactly right that the bearing witness to other peoples, the people in our family’s truth, whether we can fully understand it, whether we can have been there. But we just being able to and I mean, literally, her powers are about a physical manifestation of like hard light, like she’s shining light on truth. Like that’s clearly what’s happening in that episode. And there’s something about that that felt so important. It felt like if we’re going to go to something as dark as what happened in Partition, so complicated and violent and horrific, it has to kind of, be from a place of understanding. It has to be from a place of compassion. It has to be from a place of she’s learning about how to look in that episode. And then she immediately applies it. She sees it. She then has empathy for Najma when she comes back moments later.


Rosie Knight Yep.


Bisha K. Ali Her first tactic with Kamran is to talk him down. Like She wants to talk to him when she encompasses and she wants to talk to him and she first instinct is always right. Can we, like, talk about how you’re feeling right now? Because I’m happy to be a witness to it. So her powers are always defensive, but her ultimate power who she is if her ultimate power and I think that’s the maturing over the course of the show.


Rosie Knight I love that. I’d like to speak a little bit to the Partition arc some. I love the quote that you gave. I think it was in an interview to Variety where he talks about canonizing Partition and as part of history in the MCU, World War two exists why can’t this? So could you talk a little bit?


Bisha K. Ali Yeah.


Rosie Knight You did. And the whole quote is incredibly smart. And like a slick. I wass like, well, this one’s really good. I mean, yeah, but could you talk a little bit about building in Partition. And also, I loved the reading list you guys made. I thought that was such a brilliant asset to kind of expand the story of the show.


Bisha K. Ali I think kind of building the the honesty, the torture of the past six weeks has being have been not being able to talk about everything. So it’s really exciting that I finally get to say, oh, because I remember even early doors and we just mentioned Partition around the dinner table and the some of the responses, especially people affected by Partition, was like, I can’t believe that we’re even hearing the word Partitioning. Yeah in a  Marvel show. And I was like, just, you wait, buddy, just you wait. And I think that was kind of hard for us because we’re like I and it kind of was gratifying as we went along to be like, Okay, yeah, we did. We’re right. This is good. This is the plan. This is our sharing of what was hurting us and what we wish we could address in some way. That was a value to it because we’re seeing in real time other people also experiencing that and that was very gratifying for us to watch. In terms of how we handled, our approach was never to, we had to simplify in terms of expressing what happened. But let’s be clear. It’s so complicated. It’s so complex.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Bisha K. Ali And it’s also much more violent than what we portrayed in our show. But there is there was no way for us to encapsulate the full violence of it. We bring it up in audio, we describe it and the violence that we see in the shows like the Nexus. It is between our characters. We find the situation between Najma and Aisha. And hopefully there’s some element of just the grief of that moment in terms of our storytelling might reflect some of the grief of some of the pain of this is like an echo of what the actual point this is. But that was the only piece of violence we wanted to put in. And we want to be very mindful of how we handled actually portraying on screen. I think part of the kind of great thing we did, a great thing that everyone did was that we had Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy directing because she spent so much of her life collecting stories from Partition, oral histories, and she really constructed that sequence at the end of episode four when Kamala’s on the train platform and she’s hearing these different conversations, but the real conversations that she’s collected from.


Rosie Knight Wow.


Bisha K. Ali And the shots that you’re seeing, the woman being carried by two men, the family embracing and leaving each other, and the way that the trains look and people throwing their belongings up and being able to get on, those are constructed from photographs from that time. So there was so much care. We all apporaoched this process with such reverence and with such respect for what happened, with respect to the way we’re framing. But I think you understand what I’m getting at. But I’m yeah, that was really important to us and I think I felt really grateful that we had Sharmeen on board to direct the Pakistan episodes.


Rosie Knight Yeah, something else I found that you guys dealt with that felt very radical and Underseen is like a lot of stories about powered people and specifically mutants, which will become later more prominent, are about this notion of like analogous oppression. So the X-Men is like, Look at these people, they’re being oppressed. But the first group of X-Men are like white people, right? But they’re being oppressed because of their powers. Something Ms. Marvel does, especially by the time we get to the finale, it makes that oppression text. It’s not just about a powered person. It’s look at how this technique is about finding powered people immediately becomes about overpolicing Muslims, Yeah, overpolicing brown people. I just thought that was really cool. So could you speak a little bit about the Department of Damage Controls role and the importance of reflecting that real world oppression alongside sowing the seeds for oppression of powered people?


Bisha K. Ali Yeah. So actually I will say, to be completely honest, the idea of sowing the seeds of oppression of a power people as a base of mutants was like not of interest to me, not in terms of like it wasn’t interesting. But I mean, like, wasn’t what I was meant to be doing. We were like, this is what we’re doing. Which is very clear, not even an analogy, to be frank, we’re stating it.


Rosie Knight No it’s true. That’s what I like.


Bisha K. Ali And so that our approach is always that it wasn’t always Damage Control, that was the oppressive force at different points. We had written versions, but there was real people that like, yeah, agencies and that kind of thing. And then as you’ve kind of developed the shows with Marvel, there’s this kind of searching for the interconnectivity, and Damage Control was such a good existing thing that we recognize elements of them that we could see an element of like, well, their reaches. And we knew after a certain point in the kind of development process we knew that that they appear somewhere else. You listed in trailers for other shows, shall we say. So yeah, they exist and that’s real in the MCU is it’s just another layer of like duty to connectivity. And also our approach to that story, I think hinged on Deevers going rogue because I don’t know that you can paint all of Damage Control like we don’t. I think as soon as we do that, we kind of limit possibility for other storytelling. I didn’t want to do that for other people, and certainly that’s not helpful to the MCU as a whole. So but and Deevers is doing the work of being that oppressive force that’s specifically targeting this community and that she’s just hell bent on it. She’s an evil lady.


Rosie Knight Mm hmm.


Bisha K. Ali And I think that was always important to us, whether it was going to be to damage control or a different kind of government agency or oppressive force that was built in from the start of like, well, what happens when someone who’s a young brand becomes hyper visible? How do you get treated?


Rosie Knight Exactly.


Bisha K. Ali That isn’t how it would be for anybody else. It won’t be how it is for Spidey. Well, completely, for different reasons. It’ll be a different approach, and it won’t be how it is for Captain Marvel in terms of.


Rosie Knight Mm hmm.


Bisha K. Ali So that’s also part of the reality check for Kamala. Right. So when I took control, when Deevers first comes into the magic and Nakia is so, like, frustrated by and incident actually gets to explain it to some of the audience who might not be picking up on what we’re doing in Kamala’s bedroom, a scene that I also being even though I’m good and I want to do good things, I want to be a superhero for us, the impact of me existing is out of my control. The fact that I exist in the body that I was born in to forget with powers is going to affect people’s perception. And that’s a reality that Muslims and Brown people have to live with. And so how do you talk about that in a way that feels meaningful in this? And I think we came to the meaningful answer for us is you got to have each other’s backs. We’re community. Yeah. So together so.


Rosie Knight And I think that was just so powerful and kind of like so something that I thought was really interesting was Sana Amanat gave an interview today about how in the comics Kamala was always meant to be a mutant, which was actually something that a lot of fans had assumed during the publishing time. So I was kind of wondering, how does it feel for you? I can imagine how much this has changed and how that moment came about is not something that’s particularly like out there to talk about, but how did it feel to you to be able to reveal that Kamala has a mutation and is back in that space? Yeah, as she was originally envisioned.


Bisha K. Ali I think it’s interesting from a, from a nerd P.O.V. like holy shit. So excited.


Rosie Knight Right.


Bisha K. Ali Yeah, completely. I was having a meltdown, especially when you like the way it’s done in the show because that was the that music you hear was compliment the sound very cleveryly, so the fact that we got to play that sound like I the the X-Men theme from the from the the show I can’t tell you like I’m not even talking about my time working at Marvel I’m talking about before like that.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Bisha K. Ali Is a song I like scream out loud like for fun like it’s something.


Rosie Knight I think everyone does. It’s classic. It’s iconicYeah exactly. So the fact that it’s in this and the fact that we’re introducing this huge, exciting new part of the MCU in this kind of actually softest of ways, which is kind of become my latest way to do this.


Rosie Knight If it is with Quip as well, it’s just another label.


Bisha K. Ali Yeah.


Rosie Knight I thought that was so good and it sets up so much. And then obviously you get to have immediately after that, which I could not believe, we get this huge moment which goes back to some classic Captain Marvel lore with potentially the bangle being similar to Nega bands and Kamala disappearing. You’re zipping your lips. Of course, But how much fun was it to establish this connection with Carol and Kamala that we’ve never seen in that final moment?


Bisha K. Ali That to me, like I didn’t write that scene that kind of got put in in the in the endgame and endgame in the later later down the line. Because I think also these shows like the schedule of what they’re going out is changing, like what exists, what doesn’t exist, what’s in the public knowledge? What is it the all of that. Those are in a moving part. But to feel together and to see that scene and now that I kind of know some elements of what’s going to come, it’s yeah, it’s exciting. It’s really exciting. It’s thrilling.


Rosie Knight It must’ve been really fun. And how do you feel now that your whole baby is out there? This is not people reacting to one episode anymore as it comes out. This is the whole show is out there as it exists. How does it feel to you and how does it feel to see how much it means to people?


Bisha K. Ali I think about the how much it means to people. Yeah, it’s hard. I think it no, I think the in the Internet age, I don’t know that any human brain is capable of computing like the amount of feedback like I don’t know, that’s natural, like a human. Like I’ll compute a good bad. So that’s that’s something that I find hard. Well, I mean, I’ve got my own stuff to deal with, with my brain, but the the it’s it’s it’s bizarre. It’s a really bizarre feeling. I think I also feel just really tired and it like.


Rosie Knight Putting out a show in a global pandemic about Partition, about the first MCU, Muslim female teenage superhero. I mean, that’s tiring.


Bisha K. Ali It’s a lot of stuff. I think also, you know, if I can kind of put the end of it down for a second, but like it took a lot of bravery on the part of the writers. It took a lot of vulnerability and trusting each other, to go where we went. And there’s no response. Negative or positive that can kind of validate or I don’t know, there’s nothing that’s going to kind of cushion that. But I feel like when the show is coming out, I think, yeah, I can’t speak for the other writers by nice and feeling vulnerable and that’s any putting any art out into the world, even if that. But I think that element in particular because I think yeah, it’s just a really tender place to go and I mean in a gentle way, but also mean like a tender wound. So that’s, um, yeah, that was interesting experience. I’ve learned a lot from that experience, a lot about putting yourself out there and kind of just chasing the thing that scares you, but it feels weird and good and great. And yeah.  think that’s the summary.


Rosie Knight I love that. We are doing good and great and yeah, that’s so brilliant. I could literally talk to you about this all day, but I appreciate you taking this time out so that we could have this chat. So wonderful to meet you and tap you on this film and like, where can people find you if they want to follow more of your work or see more stuff that you’ve done?


Bisha K. Ali I don’t know, man. Internet like.


Rosie Knight I’ll find it. I’ll put it in the show notes.


Bisha K. Ali So me, I’m quite enjoying hiding in a hole kind of. Oh, I’ll just retweet some stuff and then disappear.


Rosie Knight Yeah. Just watch Miss Marvel and support Bisha.


Bisha K. Ali Thank you. Very sweet, Rosie. I appreciate it.


Jason Concepcion Thanks for joining us, Bisha. Up next, Nerd Out. Today’s Nerd Out, where you tell us what you love and why Francis pitches on RuPaul’s Drag Race.


Francis What’s up, X-ray Vision Pod. It’s Francis. The first half of my year has been a deep dive into RuPaul’s Drag Race. No, really. I’ve watched 13 of the 14 original seasons, six and a half, all star seasons, the UK seasons including UK versus the World, Canada Seasons and Down Under, and a few podcasts, web series and music by some of my favorite queens along the way. I knew I’d love it, but I didn’t get into it until late January this year at the suggestion of a close friend. Well, everyone who told me I’d like it, you were absolutely correct. With the recent LGBTQIA+ attacks by the right, especially here in my home state of Texas. I thought now was a great time to let X-Ray Vision pod followers know that Drag Race absolutely lives up to the hype as our Lord and Savior, RuPaul says, We’re all born naked and the rest is drag. So while I highly doubt the Texas legislators will be able to legally define what a drag show is and pass laws preventing children from attending, I want to encourage everyone to give Drag Race a chance. Personal favorite seasons are five, six and seven of the original or All-Stars two or seven, or at least find a local drag show and support these wonderful performers, teaching everyone how to love ourselves by loving themselves. On the horizon, Canada’s Drag Race Season three kicks off in mid-July on Wow Presents Plus in the U.S. and a queen of Queens will soon be chosen on All-Stars seven, all winners currently on Paramount+. And to quote Mama RU again, if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love somebody else? Can I get an amen?


Jason Concepcion Thanks, Francis, for submitting. If you want to be featured and we want you to be featured, please send your Nerd Out pitch to Instructions on how to do so or in the show notes. Folks, that’s it for our supersized 1982 summer movie edition episode of X-ray Vision. A big thank you to the number one comics computer, Rosie.


Rosie Knight It’s me. I am a computer.


Jason Concepcion And of course, super producer Saul Rubin for joining us on X-ray vision. Rosie, plugs, plugs, plugs. Plug your stuff.


Rosie Knight Yes. If you are at San Diego Comic-Con and you listen to this before 4 p.m., come and see me on that Godzilla panel. Room four. If you’re at San Diego Comic-Con and you don’t see that, pick up my Den of Geek magazine, it’s free. The Den of Geek team will be giving it out. Also, if you see me, feel free to say hello. I will probably have a zien on me. I’ll be staying away from people in a safe manner. But if I am out and about, I will make sure I have a Zien. I’m always happy to say hello. You can follow me. Rosie Marx on Instagram and letterboxd and obviously hear me here on X-Ray Vision with my brilliant co-host, Jason


Jason Concepcion Aw.


Jason Concepcion Folks, X-Ray Vision has a new home on YouTube. The Takeline channel is now dedicated to all things X-ray Vision and the Takeline Twitter page is now going to be dedicated to all things X-Ray Vision. Go check us out on XRV pod. We also have a Discord come join the community. You can find our Discord in the show notes. We’re at Comic-Con right now, so come check it out for some potential scoops and check out YouTube for reactions, recaps, primers and more. Next week, we will be talking more about everything that happens at Comic-Con over the next few days, if we survive. Don’t forget five stars. Every platform you want to review is it’s got to be the five stars. X-ray Vision is a Crooked Media production. The show is produced by Chris Lord and Saul Rubin. The show is executive produced by myself and Sandy Girard. Our editing and sound design is by the Vasilis Fotopoulos. Delon Villanueva and Matt DeGroot provide video production support. Alex Reliford handle social media thank you Brian Vasquez for our theme music. Bye.