Film editor Joe Walker had revealed in an interview with Provideo Coalition that “the first assembly of the film was nearly four hours and for convenience sake and – to be honest – my bladder’s sake, we broke it into two for viewings.” Director Denis Villeneuve confirmed the cut’s length during a recent chat with ScreenCrush, but said, “the idea of the movie being in two parts didn’t get out of the editing room.”
“The best incarnation of the movie is what is in the theater,” Villeneuve said. “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.”
The sequel picked up 30 years after the events of Scott’s original Blade Runner film. Ryan Gosling played LAPD officer K, a new Blade Runner, in search of Harrison Ford’s Rick Deckard. Jared Leto, Robin Wright, Dave Bautista, Sylvia Hoeks, Ana de Armas, and Mackenzie Davis also starred.
Villeneuve, who directed the Oscar-winning Arrival, called the four-hour cut “too self-indulgent.”
“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,” he added. “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,” he continued. “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.”