Blunt talk is Ridley Scott’s mother tongue. Try as he might, the blockbuster director can’t help but be forthcoming in certain interviews, rushing past diplomatic, P.R.-trained niceties in order to aggressively speak his mind. In a recent interview with Vulture, the director’s brusque nature reared its head once more when he was asked what he really thought about Blade Runner 2049,Denis Villeneuve’s reboot of Scott’s 1982 sci-fi classic.
At first, Scott tried to play it coy, literally whispering, “I have to be careful what I say.” He repeated that again, as though wild replicants were secretly in the room and ready to pounce lest the director insult the artistic reimagining. But then, Scott figuratively threw up his hands and spoke his truth.
“It was fucking way too long,” he declared (the film’s run time is two hours and 44 minutes). “Fuck me! And most of that script’s mine.”
Two candid revelations for the price of one! He continued on the latter point, saying that although he won’t take credit for the story, he came up with quite a few plot points. “I shouldn’t talk,” Scott eventually said. “I’m being a bitch.”
Blade Runner 2049 did fairly well with critics, lauded for its aesthetic appeal and philosophical nature. Industry veteran Roger Deakins handled the gorgeous cinematography, which some are hoping will lead him to his very first Oscar win. However, despite critical appeal, the film only picked up $91 million at the domestic box office, ultimately grossing $258 million worldwide. For most films, that’s a tremendous haul, but for a film with a reported $150 million budget and a built-in audience, that’s relatively disappointing.
Scott’s interview was packed with some other candid punches, including his thoughts on Kevin Spacey’s canned performance in All the Money in the World and the idea of helming a Star Wars film. Despite his successful track record, Scott said he’s never been asked to direct one of the many films spun out of that blockbuster universe, because he’s “too dangerous” for such a thing.
“I think they like to be in control, and I like to be in control myself,” he explained. “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 fuckin’ stupid.”
For the last few years, several studios have trended toward plucking obscure indie filmmakers with one or two features under their belt and handing them the reins to their precious blockbusters; for example: Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World), Jon Watts (Spider-Man: Homecoming), Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Kong: Skull Island). Lucasfilm has used this formula to a less extreme degree, offering directors like Gareth Edwards the Rogue One spin-off and Trevorrow the next installment in the main series, Star Wars: Episode IX (before handing it back to reliable hitmaker J.J. Abrams).
“You can get me for my fee, which is heavy, but I’ll be under budget and on time,” Scott said. “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 fucking essential.”
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Yohana DestaYohana Desta is a Hollywood writer for VanityFair.com.
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