Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve reveals which version of Ridley Scott’s original Blade Runner is his favorite and should be considered canon when going to see the sequel. Despite Blade Runner‘s modern day status as one of the greatest films ever made, the 1982 sci-fi noir was not as well-received upon its initial theatrical release as many fans might think. Instead, the film’s notoriety and acclaim came in the years to follow, not only with audiences and critics learning to appreciate the film upon repeat viewings but with the release of multiple different cuts and remasterings of the original 1982 version, which have been released periodically in the decades since.
While most generally consider the 2007 final cut of Blade Runner to be the best version of the film – and the one that Ridley Scott himself prefers – there’s still been a fairly consistent discussion amongst fans regarding the multiple different versions, with some still preferring the original 1982 version, which included narration by Harrison Ford’s Rick Deckard. And as such, fans have been understandably inquisitive about which version of the film Blade Runner 2049 may directly reference or build off of.
During a recent interview with Collider, director Denis Villeneuve addressed which version of Blade Runner he considers to be his favorite and the ones that fans should rewatch before going to see Blade Runner 2049 in October:
“I think honestly I would recommend seeing the very, very final director’s cut of Ridley’s. If they are curious enough, for me, it’s like the very first cut that was released in 1982 with the voice over and the very last one. The one with the voice over is the one that I was raised with, that made me discover this universe. At the time, I was not aware of the controversy… I saw the movie in a small town in Canada, there was no internet at the time, so I didn’t know that critics didn’t welcome the movie well. I just deeply loved the movie at first sight, and for me, the voice over had that kind of noir quality, so it’s not something that shocked me, I embraced it at the time.
Now, I understood, much later, when I saw Ridley’s final director’s cut, I understood where he wanted to go and what he was missing. Then, I became a fan of it, so my favorite version is the final director’s cut from Ridley.”
While it might not seem like it at first, which version of the original film that Blade Runner 2049 builds off of is actually an important factor in understanding how it continues the story of the first one. After all, not only does the 2007 version of the film do away with Ford’s narration, but it also cuts out the 1982 version’s “happy ending” with Deckard and Rachael and features the full version of the unicorn dream, all of which are factors that may very well spill into Deckard’s story in Blade Runner 2049.
This answer doesn’t come as much of a surprise either, considering Scott’s personal bias toward the final 2007 cut of the film, and his involvement in the sequel as both a producer and overseer of the production. But in case Villeneuve’s proven talents as a director weren’t enough to prove his worth for the sequel, his love of the 2007 cut of Blade Runner should win the filmmaker some extra points amongst fans going into Blade Runner 2049‘s release this fall.
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