Though it clocked in at over two-and-a-half hours, it was revealed by editor Joe Walker that a bunch of scenes didn’t make the theatrical cut of Denis Villeneuve’s “Blade Runner 2049”.
In fact, the ‘assembly cut’ of the film reportedly came in at nearly four hours, so long that they split it into two for viewings and further editing. This has led to speculation of an extended four-hour cut of the film hovering around out there, but the filmmaker tells ScreenCrush it won’t get released:
“[Laughs] No, the film was not intended to be released in two parts. 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.
[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.”
Amongst the stuff that didn’t make the final cut was “a lot of connective tissue and bridges” between scenes along with a “really magnificent aerial sequence when K and Joi fly to Las Vegas”. Villeneuve also says he doesn’t believe in director’s cuts:
“I will say that there’s no great things that are being lost. 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.”
“Blade Runner 2049” is now available on digital and hits physical formats on January 16th.