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Blade Runner 2049 starring Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford opened in October to rave reviews. Critics were especially impressed with its spectacular visuals and the immersive world created by director Denis Villeneuve. But the film’s box office was a little less stellar: so far it’s grossed $258 million globally, a disappointment considering its hefty estimated production budget of $150-185 million.

Now Ridley Scott, who directed 1982’s original Blade Runner movie and served as an exec producer on 2049, has weighed in on the film’s performance. “I have to be careful what I say. It was f***ing way too long,” he told Vulture. “F*** me! And most of that script’s mine.”

Scott has no writing credit on the film, whose screenplay is credited to Hampton Fancher and Michael Green. Pushed to explain his input, Scott replied: “I sit with writers for an inordinate amount of time and I will not take credit, because it means I’ve got to sit there with a tape recorder while we talk. I can’t do that to a good writer.”

Scott then said that the “big idea” for the sequel, which does have an epic 163-minute runtime, came from his original Blade Runner movie.

“[Joe Turkel‘s character] Tyrell is a trillionaire, maybe 5 to 10 percent of his business is AI,” Scott explained. “Like God, he has created perfect beings that, for all intents and purposes, there is no telling the difference from humans. Then he says, ‘You know what? I’m going to create an AI. I’ll have a male and female, they will not know that they’re both AIs, I’ll have them meet each other, they will fall in love, they will consummate, and they will have a child.’ That’s the first film.”

He continued: “The second film is, what happens to the baby? You’ve got to have the baby, you can’t have the mother, so the mother has to inexplicably die four months after she breastfeeds. The bones are found in the box at the foot of the tree — that’s all me. And the digital girlfriend is me. I wanted an evolution from [Daryl Hannah‘s character] Pris, who is inordinately sexy in the original, right?”

So there we have it. Ridley Scott thinks Blade Runner 2049 is too long, and he takes some of the blame for it.

But do you agree with him?

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By Nick Levine