Despite an underwhelming box office performance Denis Villeneuve‘s Blade Runner 2049 brought back many of the themes that Ridley Scott‘s sci-fi classic Blade Runner did. Possibly the total running time of the film was something that kept audiences away? But in a new interview with ScreenCrush, Villeneuve confirms that he stands by the length of the final theatrical cut because the movie could have been a lot longer.
At a total running time of 2 hours and 44 minutes, many parts of the film did feel like something was missing so additional scenes could have been beneficial. Only a few weeks after the film was released there were rumors of a four-hour original cut of Blade Runner 2049, but those rumors never made it past the editing room. Villeneuve says that the four-hour cut will never leave that room either:
[Laughs] …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. [Laughs] 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.
Villeneuve was never pressured from Alcon Entertainment to cut down the run time, he decided on his own to cut out nearly half of the movie.
“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.”
Villeneuve didn’t blame the length of his final cut for poor box office results, though he did wonder if audiences were intimidated by both its length and subject matter. He said:
"People are maybe afraid of the film because it’s long and supposed to be a puzzle."
What do you think? Would you have liked to have seen the four hour cut of the film see the light of day?