Blade Runner 2049 Ridley Scott

There’s a certain candor that you’ll only get from 80-year-old directors nearing a half-century in the movie business and who just doesn’t give a hoot anymore.

Ridley Scott recently gave a profanity-laced interview about everything from his bold nine-day reshoots of All the Money in the World to his whether he’d be up to make a Star Wars movie. But I know what you really want to learn: what Scott thinks about Denis Villeneuve‘s ambitious follow-up to his sci-fi classic film, Blade Runner. And Scott doesn’t hold back his opinions on the critically acclaimed but commercially disappointing Blade Runner 2049.

In an era where every major blockbuster filmmaker has a team of strict publicists watching them like a hawk, Scott’s profane bluntness is the most refreshing — and amusing — thing to experience. I would recommend reading the entire Vulture interview where Scott curses a mile-a-minute while chatting about a range of topics, but let’s first get to Scott’s thoughts on Blade Runner 2049, a sequel to his original film that he’s been oddly quiet about since its release in October. But now it seems he can’t shut up about it. He told Vulture:

[Whispers] I have to be careful what I say. I have to be careful what I say. [Blade Runner 2049] was fucking way too long. Fuck me! And most of that script’s mine.

It’s similar to what Scott told Arab news outlet Al Arabiya when asked why audiences didn’t flock to the ambitious and stunning sci-fi film that received some of the most positive critical raves for a blockbuster this year. “It’s slow. It’s slow. Long. Too long. I would have taken out half an hour,” Scott said. Recently, Villeneuve also morosely singled out the run time as the possible reason that the movie disappointed at the box office.

But what does Scott mean when he says “most of that script is mine”? Scott executive produced the sequel, which opened to critical acclaim but grossed only $91 million domestically, far below the $150 million budget (the film has made $258 million worldwide, but that’s still not nearly enough to break even when all the checks clear). But other than that, Scott made sure not to step on Villeneuve’s toes too much — though he had to get kicked off the Blade Runner 2049 set at least once.

Still, Scott says he was heavily involved in cracking the story. The script is credited to Hampton Fancher and Michael Green, but Scott told Vulture:

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.

Elements of the story like Joi, Agent K’s digital girlfriend, and the premise of the search for the mythic AI baby were Scott’s ideas, he said. The first Blade Runner was about two AI’s falling in love and having a child. “The second film is, what happens to the baby?” Scott said.

Run time aside, Scott wouldn’t say whether he was disappointed with Villeneuve’s vision or whether he would have done any differently. In reality, it seems like he blames himself as much as he blames the movie’s excessive length. And in true Ridley Scott fashion, he closes out the conversation with, “I shouldn’t talk. I’m being a bitch.”

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