Why We Won't Ever Get The 4 Hour Cut Of Blade Runner 2049, According To Denis Villeneuve

Blade Runner 2049

At two hours and 44 minutes, Blade Runner 2049 is already an incredibly long movie. However, it was originally much longer. The first cut of Blade Runner 2049 was reportedly four hours long, and then had to be chipped away to something more manageable. Because this is a Blade Runner movie, it's easy to think that this footage could be released as an extended cut, but not if director Denis Villeneuve has anything to say about it. As far as Villeneuve is concerned, this movie shown in the theaters is the best version of Blade Runner 2049. As the director put it:

I will not show it to anyone, the four hours, it doesn't work. The movie you see right now is the one.

The original Blade Runner is famous for its many different cuts, each one presenting a slightly different take on the movie. There's like six different cuts out there, but that's a tradition that Denis Villeneuve has no interest in keeping. His Blade Runner 2049 is actually as it should be, and even though it was originally four hours long, that extra footage is staying right on the cutting room floor. Sorry, Blade Runner fans; you'll just have to settle for a movie that's over two and half hours long. Even Ridley Scott thought this movie was too long!

Four hours is a lot of footage though, and no doubt people are curious about what was specifically cut. Whatever it was, it wasn't good enough to be in the movie. Denis Villeneuve told ScreenCrush that nothing great was lost, and that all the best footage is right there in the theatrical cut. He continued:

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 happen to share Denis Villeneuve's viewpoint on extended cuts. There's usually a reason that this footage doesn't end up in the theatrical cut. While in some cases you can get something like Blade Runner's Directors Cut that actually improves the movie, that's usually pretty rare. Most of the time, the footage is cut because it doesn't work, even if the scene itself sounds interesting. So it sounds like there's no chance of an extended cut of Blade Runner 2049, but why would you want one when the director was allowed to make exactly the movie he wanted to in the first place? Besides, most movies originally begin editing with very long cuts that need to be widdled down.

Blade Runner 2049 is already a beautiful and rare sequel to begin with, and you'll be able to check it out in full when it arrives on DVD and Blu-ray January 16, 2018.

Matt Wood

Matt has lived in New Jersey his entire life, but commutes every day to New York City. He graduated from Rowan University and loves Marvel, Nintendo, and going on long hikes and then greatly wishing he was back indoors. Matt has been covering the entertainment industry for over two years and will fight to his dying breath that Hulk and Black Widow make a good couple.