Christopher Nolan prefers stage versions to director’s cuts


The champion of the theatrical experience has spoken. And, of course, his posture is not surprising. That is, how will a film originally seen in theaters be surpassed by a subsequent home version or the streaming, no matter how extended or corrected it is? Of course Christopher Nolan he has other reasons—beyond the big-screen display—for not being a fan of director’s cuts. But not even his words will avoid the debate, since he even expressed an unpopular opinion about the iconic film. bladerunnerdirected by Ridley Scott.

To begin with, let us remember that bladerunner boasts five different versions, from the work print that never arrived in theaters, going through the official version of 1982, until the final cut from 2007. In fact, this latest version is often a fan favorite. After all, it was a real director’s cut—unlike the director’s cut 1992—where Ridley Scott directly intervened and had complete control. However, Christopher Nolan does not share the preferences of the vast majority.

This week, media like ScreenRant and CBR returned to a conversation that the director of Dark Knight and Tenet held in the summer of 2017, as a guest on the podcast Happy Sad Confused (via). There Nolan mentioned the directors and films that became a formative experience during his childhood and youth, in the seventies and eighties. In addition to starwars by George Lucas and a revival of 2001: A Space Odyssey of Stanley Kubrick, the British did not stop celebrating bladerunnera film that he discovered in VHS format, since its adult rating prevented him from seeing it in theaters.

It should be noted that that 1982 version boasted certain attributes that the distributor Warner Bros. Pictures imposed, ignoring the director’s original vision. For example, he gave it a hopeful ending and also included several moments of voice over of the main character (Rick Deckard, played by Harrison Ford) whose function was merely expository, in order to facilitate the understanding of the plot.

Eventually, those elements were removed from the director’s cut and of final cut, as per Ridley Scott’s wishes. But curiously, Christopher Nolan still prefers the bladerunner officer who watched “hundreds of times” as a teenager, despite the studio’s meddling.

Thus he was exposed to Happy Sad Confused:

«It’s the best version of the movie. It is imperfect. And it seems presumptuous [de mi parte] And I’m a big fan of Ridley Scott, so I don’t want to go against his point of view in a way. But the reality is that this tension between the market, between the studios, between the fights, the creative things that happen when a movie comes out, unless they literally take the movie out of the hands of the director, re-edit it and become a bastard somehow… I really think the best version of a movie tends to be the one that hits theaters.«.

Later, he specified that in effect he “missed” that voice over of Deckard in subsequent versions of the film. On the other hand, in terms of director’s cuts in general, Christopher Nolan acknowledged that it is good that they exist in parallel to theatrical versions. But from his perspective, early studio releases “should be projected as a kind of definitive and reliable statement of what the film is”. And it seems that, in the eyes of the Londoner, bladerunner is no exception.

You might also be interested in: Why are there so many versions of Blade Runner?

By Christopher Nolan, currently filming Oppenheimera biopic about the father of the atomic bomb. Its star cast includes Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Florence Pugh, Jack Quaid, Rami Malek, Benny Safdie, Robert Downey Jr. and Matt Damon.

Its premiere is scheduled for July 21, 2023.

The entry Christopher Nolan prefers theatrical versions to director’s cuts was first published in Cinema PREMIERE.


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