While Blade Runner 2049 kinda sorta failed when it came to the box office — making $255 million off its $150 million-plus budget — but it still managed to be a film that critics and fans adored based on its storytelling and filmmaking merits.
By and large, many agree that it’s a film that can stand right alongside the original, which is no easy feat considering the original Blade Runner has gone on to be a staple of modern science fiction. However, while director Denis Villeneuve is well known for his confident and meditative hand for his films, that’s not to say he can’t feel a little bit insecure.
Speaking with Deadline, Villeneuve told a story where he had to ask Blade Runner director and Blade Runner 2049 producer Ridley Scott to take a hike. Here’s what he said:
“The thing is, he was there a lot and not a lot, for the best. (laughs) He was there a lot because I was dealing with his screenplay, I was dealing with his ideas, I was dealing with his universe, with his characters – so I was thinking about Ridley all the time. I had a responsibility to respect, to honor the legacy of the original movie. Now, he told me right at the start he would give me all the space, all the freedom, he would step away and that would be my responsibility, and if I needed him, he would be at the other end of the line. Otherwise, I would be alone. That was the best gift to receive, because I would have never been able to work with Ridley behind me.
“He came on set one day and after a few minutes standing behind me it was unbearable. I made a joke, I said to him, ‘Hey Ridley, who is your favorite director?’ And he said, ‘I love Ingmar Bergman and Kubrick.’ I said, ‘I love Bergman too. So Ridley, how would you feel if you were on set directing and you had Bergman just behind you?’ And he burst out laughing and he walked off the set. Because I was trying to direct Harrison Ford and I was like, ‘Nope, it doesn’t work.’”
Can’t say we blame him. Though the real unbelievable part here to me is that he had the guts to actually call him out like that and pretty much kick him off the set. Good for him for being able to actually say that to one of his idols.
It all obviously worked out on an artistic level, and Blade Runner 2049 stands as a solid film in Villeneuve’s filmography.
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