Update: You can now watch the full anime online (see above).
The final prequel for Blade Runner 2049 has arrived online, bringing the world of the film into anime. This year has seen Ridley Scott go back and explore two of his biggest properties. The first came in the form of Alien: Covenant, which merged the worlds of Alien and Prometheus. Next month, Denis Villeneuve will revisit the world of Blade Runner that Scott created. The original film has become a cult classic, with various cuts arriving over the years and offering different perspectives on the world. Now, the latest film will attempt to open things up even more.
Already, Blade Runner 2049 is being hailed by critics. With some calling it a masterpiece, it looks like the new movie will be much better received than the original was when it first came out. In all likelihood, that will lead to a further expansion of the universe. In the meantime, a lot happened between the two films that is slowly being filled in. We recently saw a teaser for Shinichirō Watanabe's anime prequel for 2049, and now it's finally arrived online.
Related: Blade Runner 2049 Early Reactions
Over at Crunchyroll, you can watch the low-res version of Blade Runner Blackout 2022. If you sign up for the service, you can then view the full-resolution short. The movie features an intro from Villeneuve before launching into the world three years after the original film ended.
In the short, we see a blackout lead to a rise in anti-Replicant violence and sentiment. The whole thing ends with the Replicants being outlawed for a decade before Jared Leto's Niander Wallace is able to lobby for their return. The short is even more exciting as it comes from Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo director Watanabe. With any luck, the success of the film could lead to further stories from Watanabe set in the Blade Runner universe.
Blackout is one of three prequels that have been released ahead of 2049. The other two, directed by Ridley Scott's son Luke, take place in other decades and explore some of the side characters. The first involved Leto as Wallace as he works on his new Replicants. Following that, another prequel explored Dave Bautista's character, a Replicant on the run that eventually meets up with Ryan Gosling's K.
We've heard that unlike the first film, Blade Runner 2049 will not feature an alternate cut. The good news is that means Villeneuve's vision was realized on screen. These prequels also prove that everyone involved in the film is more than willing to finally expand on the world Scott created after all of these years. And now that the foundation has been laid, audiences will have even more insight as they head into Blade Runner 2049.
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