Ridley Scott Now Regrets Turning Down Directing Blade Runner 2049

By Chris Snellgrove | Updated

ryan gosling
Blade Runner 2049

Back in 1982, Ridley Scott adapted Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? into Blade Runner, one of the most iconic science-fiction films ever made. Years later, we got a sequel in the form of Blade Runner 2049, but instead of being handled by Scott, that film was directed by Dune: Part Two director Denis Villeneuve. He did an amazing job, but some fans wished Scott would come back, and it seems the veteran director agrees: as Gizmodo reports, Scott said in a recent interview that “I should have done Blade Runner 2.”

Blade Runner director Ridley Scott passed on directing the sequel, which was helmed by Denis Villeneuve instead, and now he he regrets that decision.

Why, then, didn’t Ridley Scott return to direct Blade Runner 2049? It mostly comes down to the director keeping insanely busy as he works on various sequels and prequels to his most iconic films. The director is currently working on a sequel to the hit film Gladiator, for example, and he was only unable to return to the Blade Runner universe because he was too busy directing the prequel film Alien: Covenant.

In fact, Ridley Scott was so serious about getting into the director’s chair for Blade Runner 2049 that he had already worked out a storyline and script. But since Alien: Covenant was produced by 20th Century Fox and Blade Runner 2049 was produced by Warner Bros., the two films ended up with competing filming schedules. Scott had to pick one and decided to go with Alien: Covenant, a decision that he later came to regret: “I shouldn’t have had to make that decision,” he said in the interview.

And while Alien: Covenant was a perfectly serviceable entry for that particular franchise, it’s hard not to imagine how Ridley Scott would have approached various characters and plot points in Blade Runner 2049 quite differently than director Denis Villeneuve.

Denis Villeneuve is an accomplished director, but his vision for Blade Runner 2049 makes fans wonder what would have happened if Ridley Scott had been able to present his original vision.

Would there have been more Harrison Ford, we wonder, or was making him such a second banana to Ryan Gosling always part of the story? And would Scott have given us more detail about humans and Replicants being able to have children, or was that always intended to be both mysterious and miraculous?

movie set
Blade Runner 2049

If Ridley Scott does have more to say about the mythology of this iconic universe, he will get a chance to do so: after missing out on directing the sequel to Blade Runner, Scott has now returned to the franchise as the showrunner of Blade Runner 2099.

This will be a sci-fi series on Amazon Prime that the director has said will build upon some of the ideas espoused by Aldous Huxley in his famous novel Brave New World. However, with Hollywood’s writers and actors currently on strike, that series has been indefinitely delayed.

Ridley Scott is still involved with Blade Runner, acting as the showrunner for the Amazon Prime series Blade Runner 2099.

Ultimately, the revelation that Ridley Scott came this close to directing Blade Runner 2049 is very bittersweet…we like the idea of the original creator returning for the sequel, but the harsh truth is that Scott (who is currently 85 years old) can’t be the sole creative voice behind this ongoing franchise. It’s good to get new voices and ideas in the mix, and Scott will get to make his final statement with the franchise with Blade Runner 2099

If this long-delayed show ever gets made, we can have at least one thing to look forward to, and that’s old nerds eventually giving their grandchildren a rousing speech that channels Roy Batty’s famous monologue from the first film: “I’ve streamed things you people wouldn’t believe.”