Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 has mostly wowed critics and filmgoers alike, however, it has now been revealed that a much longer version was originally conceived with the original cut being a whopping four hours long as opposed to the 163 minutes that we actually got to see.
Interestingly there were also plans for the longer cut to be split into two parts with the second half of the feature carrying a different title after an intermission.
In an interview with Provideo Coalition, Blade Runner 2049 editor Joe Walker spoke of the original concept idea for the movie;
“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. That break revealed something about the story – it’s in two halves. There’s K discovering his true past as he sees it and at the halfway mark he kind of loses his virginity (laughs). The next morning, it’s a different story, about meeting your maker and ultimately sacrifice – ‘dying is the most human thing we do’. Oddly enough both halves start with eyes opening. There’s the giant eye opening at the beginning of the film and the second when Mariette wakes up and sneaks around K’s apartment, the beginning of the first assembly part 2. We toyed with giving titles to each half but quickly dropped that.”
Whilst the movie has undoubtably been a critical success it’s not exactly been a financial one. So far grossing only $224 million globally against an estimated production budget of $150 million. Understandably the studio has laid some of the blame for this on its R-rating and almost three hour runtime, so it’s conceivable that the original plans may have affected its profits even more so. However, could we end up with an alternative cut being released on DVD and Blu-ray in the future for comparison to the theatrical release?