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Ridley Scott thinks the running time hurt Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner 2049 Denis Villeneuve Ryan Gosling Ana De Armas

Although it was a sequel some fans had been waiting to see for thirty-five years and there was a lot of hype for it among members of the online film community, BLADE RUNNER 2049 underperformed at the box office, making just under $260 million worldwide. That's a lot of money, but less than Warner Bros. was hoping for - the film, which had a production budget of $150 million, didn't even crack $100 million at the domestic box office.

Ridley Scott, director of the original BLADE RUNNER, produced 2049 and worked on crafting the story. When asked what he thought of the film's box office reception, Scott told Vulture, 

[Whispers] I have to be careful what I say. I have to be careful what I say. It was f*cking way too long. F*ck me! And most of that script’s mine."

Scott has a point. With a running time of 164 minutes, BLADE RUNNER 2049 is indeed a lengthy film, and that is exactly why I didn't go see it. I wasn't a big enough fan of BLADE RUNNER to want to spend that much time watching a sequel. (Especially when trailer time and the time it takes to get to theatre is added in.)

The filmmaker went on to tell Vulture what parts of 2049's story came from him. SPOILERS ensue.

I sit with writers for an inordinate amount of time and I will not take credit, because it means I’ve got to sit there with a tape recorder while we talk. I can’t do that to a good writer. But I have to, because to prove I’m part of the actual process, I have to then have an endless amount [of proof], and I can’t be bothered.

But the big idea comes from Blade Runner. Tyrell is a trillionaire, maybe 5 to 10 percent of his business is AI. Like God, he has created perfect beings that, for all intents and purposes, there is no telling the difference from humans. Then he says, “You know what? I’m going to create an AI. I’ll have a male and female, they will not know that they’re both AIs, I’ll have them meet each other, they will fall in love, they will consummate, and they will have a child.” That’s the first film. The second film is, what happens to the baby? You’ve got to have the baby, you can’t have the mother, so the mother has to inexplicably die four months after she breastfeeds. The bones are found in the box at the foot of the tree — that’s all me. And the digital girlfriend is me. I wanted an evolution from Pris, who is inordinately sexy in the original, right?"

With that quote, Scott again makes it very clear that he believes BLADE RUNNER's Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is a replicant, something which fans have been debating ever since 1982. 2049 director Denis Villeneuve (who has also suggested the running time might have been an issue) wanted to keep that debate going and didn't want to directly say that Deckard is a replicant in his film. But we know where the producer stands.

BLADE RUNNER 2049 stars Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Jared Leto, Ana de Armas, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis, Dave Bautista, David Dastmalchian, Sylvia Hoeks, Lennie James, Carla Juri, Hiam Abbass, Barkhad Abdi, and Edward James Olmos.

The synopsis: 

Officer K (Gosling), a new blade runner for the Los Angeles Police Department, unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what's left of society into chaos. His discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former blade runner who's been missing for 30 years.

The film will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on January 16th. You can pre-order a copy on Amazon.

Extra Tidbit: Did you see BLADE RUNNER 2049?
Source: Vulture

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