Blade Runner 2049 Ridley Scott

Imagine the pressure of directing a cinematic sequel to one of the most visually iconic science fiction movies of all time, one crafted by a master filmmaker widely considered to be one of the best craftsmen the industry has ever seen. Imagine that very same master filmmaker is executive producing your sequel, and he drops by the set to visit for a day. What do you do? Well, if you’re Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve, you nicely ask Sir Ridley Scott to pack up his stuff and hit the bricks so you can do your job properly.

Read the Blade Runner 2049 Ridley Scott story in Villeneuve’s own words below.

Just yesterday, I was marveling at the fact that we were still talking about Blade Runner 2049 months after it hit theaters thanks to some comments from Villeneuve defending his treatment of women in his sequel. But here we are again, with the visually gorgeous movie still in the cultural conversation – only now it’s because we’re starting to edge our way into awards season, and the movie will almost certainly earn a nomination for best cinematography (at minimum). But among all of the talk about the craft and technical acumen it took to bring that rainy, neon-drenched sci-fi world to life on the big screen, the filmmaker revealed a quick story to Deadline that’s worth singling out and passing along: he basically booted Ridley Scott off his set.

“The thing is, he was there a lot and not a lot, for the best. (laughs) He was there a lot because I was dealing with his screenplay, I was dealing with his ideas, I was dealing with his universe, with his characters – so I was thinking about Ridley all the time. I had a responsibility to respect, to honor the legacy of the original movie. Now, he told me right at the start he would give me all the space, all the freedom, he would step away and that would be my responsibility, and if I needed him, he would be at the other end of the line. Otherwise, I would be alone. That was the best gift to receive, because I would have never been able to work with Ridley behind me.

“He came on set one day and after a few minutes standing behind me it was unbearable. I made a joke, I said to him, ‘Hey Ridley, who is your favorite director?’ And he said, ‘I love Ingmar Bergman and Kubrick.’ I said, ‘I love Bergman too. So Ridley, how would you feel if you were on set directing and you had Bergman just behind you?’ And he burst out laughing and he walked off the set. Because I was trying to direct Harrison Ford and I was like, ‘Nope, it doesn’t work.'”

Hey, at least Scott had a sense of humor about it. In all seriousness, though, it sounds like their working relationship worked well for the movie, because the final film really felt like Villeneuve was able to do his own thing while still creating a movie that very much felt as if it were a part of that same world Scott created all those years ago.

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