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Ridley Scott on Blade Runner 2049 being too long, Star Wars' directorial woes

Contributed by
Dec 26, 2017

At the age of 80, and with the career he's had, Ridley Scott clearly isn't interested in mincing words about anything -- including his own projects.

In a new interview with Vulture, Scott is candid when asked what he made of the response to Blade Runner 2049, which was critically acclaimed but died a gruesome death at the box office. Scott, who produced the follow-up to his 1982 classic but did not direct it, gets to the point:

"I have to be careful what I say. I have to be careful what I say. It was f**king way too long. F**k me! And most of that script’s mine."

At nearly three hours, one of the major criticisms of Blade Runner 2049 was that it was overlong, but whether that was down to the script or the way director Denis Villeneuve paced and edited the film is a subject for debate. Although the credited screenwriters are Michael Green and Hampton Fancher, Scott is adamant that he was involved deeply in developing certain major plot threads (warning -- spoilers to follow):

"...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. 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. And the digital girlfriend is me."

Scott adds, "I shouldn’t talk. I’m being a b**ch," perhaps implying that he would have approached the way those ideas were presented in the film differently -- and at a quicker pace.

Having launched his own franchises like Blade Runner and Alien over the years, Scott is asked if he's been offered a chance to take a crack at something like Star Wars:

"No, no. I’m too dangerous for that...I think they like to be in control, and I like to be in control myself. When you get a guy who’s done a low-budget movie and you suddenly give him $180 million, it makes no sense whatsoever. It’s f**kin’ stupid."

Scott refers to the extensive and reportedly costly reshoots that at least two Star Wars movies -- Rogue One and Solo -- have been through under the supervision of directors who did not start the films, saying:

"This is where experience does matter, it’s as simple as that! It can make you dull as dishwater, but if you’re really experienced and you know what you’re doing, it’s f**king essential. Grow into it, little by little. Start low-budget, get a little bit bigger, maybe after $20 million, you can go to $80. But don’t suddenly go to $160."

So in one interview, Ridley Scott both criticizes his own iconic franchise and the ongoing Star Wars saga, the former for being too unwieldy and the latter for hiring young directors who aren't capable of delivering what the studio wants. Do you think he has valid points to make about each, or is he just being cantankerous?

(via The Playlist)