Upon its release in 1982, “Blade Runner” had so much studio interference, that its history has been plagued with ups and downs. Receiving mixed reviews, the film came and went upon release, but ended up receiving a cult following on home video, which had its director Ridley Scott amped up and screening his own versions to audiences around the country for the next few years. There have been several versions of “Blade Runner,” seven to be specific, but the ultimate version will always be “The Final Cut” which got rid of the narration, left us with an extra final brilliant shot, and fixed many of the plot holes that were present in the original. It was the only time director Ridley Scott had total freedom in the editing room for the film, and it would come 25 years after its release.
With Denis Villeneuve‘s sequel “Blade Runner 2049” only two weeks away, we’ve all been crossing our fingers that the version released will the director’s unadulterated vision. Villeneuve is an unabashed fan of the original and he surely knows about the tumultuous history behind it. Earlier this month we learned the disconcerting news that composer Jóhann Jóhannsson had exited the movie, but his replacements Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch are no slouches and could indeed help improve the final result. However, there is still much concern about what the end result will be and whether the WB keeping a tight lid on the movie is a sign of concern. Given their mixed relationship with critics in the past, DCEU movies have been plagued by bad reviews, so it is no surprise that the film will only be screened for press the week of release.
In an interview with Europa Plus, Villeneuve has tried to calm down the naysayers and skeptics by saying he indeed has the final cut and that we will likely not be seeing a barrage of different versions being released à la the original.
“The thing is, the movie you’re going to see is the director’s cut. There will be no further … maybe there’ll be a ‘studio version’ [laughs], maybe a producer version, but not a director’s version. That’s my director’s cut. So I don’t think there will be further versions. If there are alternate versions, they’re not from me.”
This is good news, as long as you believe Villeneuve at face value. “Blade Runner 2049” is a risky endeavor for the WB: a $185 million, R-rated sequel to a cult-classic, oh, and did we mention it clocks in at 2 hours and 43 minutes (including credits)? It’s a big gamble and it’ll be interesting to see how it lands, but we’re obviously rooting for the film to succeed.
“Blade Runner 2049” opens on October 6th.