Blade Runner 2049 | Warner Bros

RIDLEY Scott is one of the most successful directors of all time. The 85-year-old auteur sparked the cult classic Blade Runner and Alien franchises, and masterminded box office hits like Gladiator and The Martian. Although, proving the Hollywood elite are as mortal as the rest of us, he has a handful of regrets. At the tail end of his illustrious career, Scott, just like your grandpa that’s certain he could’ve been a pro athlete had a few things gone his way, is reminiscing about missed opportunities and what could have been.

After an ambiguous ending in the first Blade Runner film, fans were forced to wait 35 years for a sequel. Scott, who helmed the original, was originally lined up to continue the franchise but pulled out due to a scheduling clash. He was replaced by the similarly accomplished Denis Villeneuve, who by all accounts did a fantastic job, but Scott has revealed he wishes things had gone differently.

“I shouldn’t have had to make that decision, but I had to,” Scott told Empire. “I should have done Blade Runner 2.” Wow. That’s a revelation, but hold on a sec. While Scott is entitled to be slightly disgruntled about not being able to continue the franchise he started, how about some respect for Denis Villeneuve? Blade Runner 2049, Villeneuve’s sequel, not only holds up when compared to the original, but in many aspects, surpasses it.

Why didn’t Ridley Scott direct Blade Runner 2049?

Despite a not exactly insignificant gap of 35 years between the original Blade Runner, which released in 1982, and its sequel in 2017, with Scott remaining an active filmmaker, you’d expect he’d be the first choice to continue the franchise, right? Well, back in 2011, Scott was originally on board to direct the sci-fi sequel, but a scheduling conflict with his other major brainchild, the Alien franchise, forced him to choose between the two.

Scott chose to direct the sci-fi horror film Alien: Covenant. While Villeneuve swooped in to takeover Blade Runner 2049, which ended up starring Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas and Jared Leto. Scott stayed on board as a producer and helped write the script, but ultimately he wasn’t the top dog anymore.

What might he have done differently in Blade Runner 2049?

Scott’s interpretation of the dystopian near future in the original Blade Runner was nothing less than a cinematic triumph. The films depiction of where our world could be heading serves as an eery warning of advanced technology and was praised for its pioneering impact on the sci-fi genre. Denis Villeneuve adopted similar themes for his sequel, but his fresh cinematography style steals the show and distinguishes it from the original, with a colourful, futuristic aesthetic that left a lasting impression on audiences.

Scott’s original is much darker and grittier, and had Scott directed the sequel, we could’ve expected the cinematography to be similar. Scott also has a penchant for telling stories that are masterfully grand in scope. Gladiator is the quintessential example of this, and Scott’s upcoming Napoleon biopic looks like it will also fit that mould, reaffirming the director’s love for the verbose and extravagant.

Scott has previously criticised the sequel. “I have to be careful what I say,” he told Vulture in 2017, before proceeding to be not at all careful. “It was fucking way too long. Fuck me!” Scott said. Apart from a shorter runtime, we don’t know how much Scott’s plot would’ve differed from Villeneuve’s, but we’d expect Harrison Ford’s character, Rick Deckard, to have a much larger role–perhaps finally answering the question of whether or not the character is a replicant, which has lingered since 1982.

Would Ridley Scott have done a better job than Denis Villeneuve?

While we can’t fault Scott for being slightly bitter over how everything worked out with Blade Runner 2049, we can fault him for not giving credit where credit is due. Denis Villeneuve did a phenomenal job in continuing the Blade Runner franchise and proved himself to be a more than worthy successor to Scott’s mantle.

As it stands, Blade Runner has a score of 8.1 on IMDb, and 89% on Rotten Tomatoes, while the sequel, Blade Runner 2049, has an 8.0 on IMDb, and 88% on Rotten Tomatoes. The tiniest of margins dictates that, in terms of their critical receptions, the original is the better film. But the sequel is anything but a cheap knock-off and has been heralded as a modern cult classic responsible for bringing an entirely new generation into the fandom–plus, Ryan Gosling’s role is iconic.

Despite resonating with fans both familiar and unfamiliar with the Blade Runner universe, Villeneuve’s fresh neo-noir take did not translate to box office success. With a budget in the range of $280 million AUD, Blade Runner 2049 only grossed $395 million worldwide. Which is not exactly chump change, but is a disappointment to a movie studio, who expect a return on investment that’s 2.5x the budget to make a profit.

Although Blade Runner 2049 failed to rake in the big bucks, that doesn’t necessarily mean the film would’ve performed any better with Scott in charge. While Scott has directed a litany of ultra-profitable blockbusters, he’s also been in charge of a handful of box office bombs–including original Blade Runner, which was far from a lucrative film. Of course, there’s also the fact that the film Scott chose to direct instead of the Blade Runner sequel, Alien: Covenant, was also a flop.

Is Ridley Scott involved with Blade Runner 2099?

Despite a little bitterness, Scott clearly hasn’t lost his love for the world of Blade Runner. The director is returning to help lead the futuristic franchise for the Amazon Studios live action series Blade Runner 2099. “I’m one of the producers,” Scott told Empire. “It’s all set years on. To me, it circles the idea of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.”

If you weren’t a fan of Villeneuve’s perspective on the Blade Runner universe and can’t wait for Scott to take the reins once more, we have some bad news. Due to the ongoing writers and actors strikes, filming of the series has been pushed to the middle of next year. So, ironically considering the franchises subject matter, a release is unlikely for the foreseeable future.