There are many things you can see about Blade Runner 2049. It’s visually stunning, an epic sci-fi adventure, and a nearly-perfect follow up to a beloved film from 25 years earlier. However, another thing you can say about it is that it’s long–very long. In fact, it’s nearly three hours long.
As it turns out, one very important person in the Blade Runner universe agrees. Ridley Scott, who directed the first Blade Runner film, spoke with Vulture and offered his honest thoughts about the film. “I have to be careful what I say. I have to be careful what I say,” he says. “It was f***ing way too long. F*** me! And most of that script’s mine.”
Scott isn’t credited as a writer on the film–he is an executive producer–but claims he’s a major piece of the writing process on Blade Runner 2049. “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,” he explains. “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.”
What were Scott’s contributions? The director says he’s responsible for the creation of Joi (Ana de Armas), the holographic girlfriend of K (Ryan Gosling), as well as the backbone of the plot.
“The big idea comes from Blade Runner. Tyrell is a trillionaire, maybe 5 to 10 percent of his business is AI. Like God, he has created perfect beings that, for all intents and purposes, there is no telling the difference from humans. Then he says, ‘You know what? I’m going to create an AI. I’ll have a male and female, they will not know that they’re both AIs, I’ll have them meet each other, they will fall in love, they will consummate, and they will have a child.’ That’s the first film,” Scott says. “The second film is, what happens to the baby? You’ve got to have the baby, you can’t have the mother, so the mother has to inexplicably die four months after she breastfeeds. The bones are found in the box at the foot of the tree–that’s all me.”
Unfortunately, in the end, even Scott’s script notes couldn’t make the movie a financial success. While it was met with critical acclaim, the big budget sequel performed below expectations at the box office, making only $91.5 million in the United States and Canada. Worldwide, Blade Runner 2049 grossed $258.2 million.