This year’s acclaimed sci-fi sequel Blade Runner 2049 clocked in at a meaty 2 hours of 44 minutes – a lengthy running time which has been suggested as one of the reason’s why the film failed to hit big at the box office. However, director Denis Villeneuve’s early “assembly cut” of the film ran for almost four hours, and the filmmaker has revealed to Screen Crush that there was some discussion about releasing the movie in two parts, but the idea was ruled out early in the post-production stage, and Villeneuve has confirmed that there are no plans to release any kind of extended edition:
“The thing is, it’s true that the first cut was four hours and at one point we were like, ‘Okay, do we go to the producer and release it in two?’ But let’s say the idea of the movie being in two parts didn’t get out of the editing room,” said Villeneuve. “No, the best incarnation of the movie is what is in the theater. What was striking is that the four-hour cut was quite strong. But personally I prefer the one that is in the theater because it’s more elegant, I would say. But there are some scenes that were like [makes boosh sound]. Quite strong. [However] you have to kill your darlings and I think four hours was too self-indulgent. And it’s a strange conversation because we’re talking about ‘Blade Runner,’ so people want to know if there are other kinds of cuts. It’s [that way] in all movies; there’s always a long cut at the beginning. The first cut is always long and it’s a process and a lot of editing.”
“I will say that there’s no great things that are being lost,” he continued. “When I cut something, it’s dead. It means it was not good enough. Even if sometimes I’m cutting my favorite shots, I still strongly think that when it’s cut on the floor of the editing room it should not go back to see the light of day again. I don’t like extended cuts. I must say, apart from Touch of Evil and Blade Runner, I have never seen a director’s cut that was better than the original. I mean, I’m not a fan at all of Apocalypse Now Redux. I thought it was a massive mistake to do Apocalypse Now Redux. It’s true that maybe sometimes the director lost control and had to do what producers – but, most of the time the movie stands by itself. It’s stronger than one individual. I will not show it to anyone, the four hours, it doesn’t work. The movie you see right now is the one.”
One person who will presumably be relieved to hear that we won’t be getting a four hour cut is producer Ridley Scott, who revealed earlier this week that he felt the theatrical edition was “fucking way too long” as it is.
Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.
Blade Runner 2049 sees Harrison Ford reprising the role of Rick Deckard alongside Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis, Carla Juri, Lennie James, Dave Bautista, Jared Leto and Edward James Olmos.