'Blade Runner 2049' Runtime Proves the Movie Is Only for the Fans
Get ready to watch Agent K and Rick Deckard run those blades for longer than ever before. Blade Runner 2049, the sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 classic, Blade Runner, clocks in at 2 hours and 32 minutes (152 minutes in total).
The five best-known versions of the original Blade Runner — the U.S. Theatrical Cut (116 minutes), International Cut (117 minutes), Director’s Cut (116 minutes), Workprint (113 minutes), and Final Cut (117 minutes) — fall in at varying lengths, but none are nearly as long as the film’s upcoming sequel.
Journalist Paul M. Sammon cataloged initial audience reactions to the original film in his book Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner (1996), most of which boiled down to Blade Runner being a slog. People described the film as being “too slow or ‘draggy’ in places” and “hard to follow or hard to understand.” And while none of that is exactly new information to Blade Runner fans, it might be true from the perspective of casual moviegoers.
The original Blade Runner is already a lot to get through, and now its sequel is adding an additional 45 minutes to the noir robot party. So, unless 2049 director Denis Villeneuve has really pulled back on the original vibe and has simplified, lightened, and essentially changed up everything people love about Blade Runner, then this sequel is truly “for the fans.”
Granted, most sequels are “for the fans” (and, uh, “for the money”), and delving back into a fictional world 35 years after the initial venture has been a Hollywood trend as of late. But Blade Runner, for all its wonderful quirks and its beloved status in the cultural zeitgeist, isn’t nearly as accessible as some of the other recently revived science fiction franchises such as Star Wars and Star Trek.
Star Wars and Blade Runner, despite their shared science fiction roots, couldn’t be more different; fun space opera and neo-noir robot hunters don’t exactly go hand in hand. Star Wars fans young and old flocked to Disney’s resurgence of the revered franchise. Adding an additional 45 minutes to a comparatively niche operation probably won’t result in the same mad dash to the theaters.
Not that hardcore Blade Runner fans are complaining. That’s just some additional time to watch Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling really think hard about how much it sucks that they might both be replicants.
Blade Runner 2049 premieres in theaters on October 6.
See below: ‘Blade Runner 2049’ Won’t Rely on CGI