Blade Runner 2049 was a very long movie, but unlike some very long movies that waste time with interminable sequences where King Kong goes iceskating or Adam Sandler refuses to stop hanging out with Seth Rogen at Leslie Mann’s house, Blade Runner 2049 actually moved along relatively well (give or take some of that sex scene). Apparently, though, its runtime was even longer than the 164 minutes we ended up with, as Blade Runner 2049 editor Joe Walker says at one point it was a four-hour movie split into two parts.
Walker shared that information with Provideo Coalation, explaining that the first cut of the movie was extremely long and split into two halves “for convenience sake.” It doesn’t sound like director Denis Villeneuve ever actually intended to release the movie in that form, but Walker says viewing the movie like that did help them recognize that the story is already sort of told in two halves, with the first half being about Ryan Gosling’s character learning about himself and the second half being about what he does with that knowledge—to put it in vague, spoiler-free terms. Walker says the stuff that got cut from this four-hour cut was mostly “a lot of connective tissue and bridges,” and they also “pared the dialogue down to the minimum amount you could get away with,” which suggests that nothing extremely crucial was trimmed away—meaning there’s no need to hold out for special Director’s Cut or Final Cut versions of 2049.
The rest of the chat has a lot of information for anyone looking to dig deep into how Blade Runner 2049 was made, including some details on how they did that aforementioned sex scene and the pacing of the opening sequence with Dave Bautista.