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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Blade Runner 2049 will be hitting theaters very soon, and with the arrival of that film, and with that in mind, audiences are faced with the real question of which version of the first movie they should watch in preparation for the sequel.

Unlike most films — which have either one cut, sometimes two — Blade Runner was blessed (or cursed) with more cuts than anyone knows what to do with. The theatrical cut was famously the least favorite of director Ridley Scott, thanks to its voice-over. Then there was the international cut, the Director’s Cut, and then the Final Cut, which came out in 2007.

But which should you watch? Speaking with our very own Gig Patta, actor Dave Bautista threw in his two cents on what audiences should watch:

“The Director’s Cut is definitely for me. I think there’s more to think about [in that version].

It’s weird. They may want to watch the original version and then watch the Director’s Cut. They should compare to see on what the differences are and start to ask more questions. The big thing is about asking more questions about Deckard

I would say the Director’s Cut, but not if they’re not into that particular type of film. If they’re on the fairweather fence, then I probably offer them the original version.”

As much as we’d hate to admit it, there is plenty of validity to Bautista’s statement. While we’d all love to think Scott was in the right here, the fact is that the theatrical cut is a more accessible feature. Interestingly enough, it’s the theatrical cut that’s also the personal favorite of Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve, so take from that what you will.

What cut is your favorite? Let us know your thoughts down below!

And be sure to keep an eye out for our full interview with Dave Bautista tomorrow!

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  • Aaron James

    There’s a version that doesn’t exist somewhere between the original version and Director’s Cuts. One that doesn’t include the terrible narration (that Harrison Ford deliberately tried to sabotage, because he thought the whole idea of narration was awful, but which the studio used anyway despite his horrible line delivery), but which also doesn’t include the silly “Deckard might be a replicant!” nonsense that Ridley Scott tried to shoehorn into the movie via the Director’s Cut.

    • echohello

      I have the final cut and that does not have the narration. Favorite version I have seen too.

      Also I believe that story about Harrison is a false rumor. I believe that is against Fords character; as in he would never purposely do a terrible job. Besides the narration is very much Detective Noir.

    • Tonk99

      Deckard as a Replicant isn’t nonsense, it adds another layer of intrigue to the character. It’s also more than he ‘might be a Replicant’, in the Director’s cut it’s pretty clear that he is. For mine its a no – brainer that the Director’s cut is superior not least because it doesn’t have footage from The Shining tacked on the end.

      • Aaron James

        Sure. But you could say the same thing about any character from any movie. Working from the theory that a character is a replicant/spy/alien/angel/whatever would add another layer of intrigue to anything, and allow you to view it through that lens and try to pick at the threads. For most people, this would be a fruitless exercise, because they’re not going to find anything. (Some people, of course, can find intrigue in anything – there’s a documentary called Room 237 about people who are convinced they’ve unlocked the secret meaning of The Shining based on absurdly flimsy evidence, and they’ve all come to different conclusions).

        But with regards to Blade Runner specifically, the core arc of the movie is that Deckard has become numb to the world and lost all empathy, but rediscovers his feeling when he learns to empathize with creatures that his society has decided are non-people.

        If he’s replicant, that arc is…pointless. Who cares whether he has empathy or not – he was a creature designed to do a job. The superficial intrigue of whether he’s a real person or not undercuts that much deeper things the movie has to say about the nature of humanity by removing the divide between Deckard and the replicants he’s hunting.

        It’s a nonsense theory that makes the film shallower, not deeper.

  • Moby85

    I saw the Final Cut first, but decided to purchase the Director’s Cut. The differences between the two are modest but I would by no means see the original cut.

  • CoolHandJuke

    i would like to hear bautista’s advice on other topics…

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer’s always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he’s always been something of a story junkie.