A new short dubbed Blade Runner: Blackout 2022 is coming to fill in some of the backstory between the original and its long-awaited sequel, with this film being an anime by famed director Shinichiro Watanabe.
The previous live-action shorts focused on two new characters to the franchise; Jared Leto’s Niander Wallace and Dave Bautista’s Sapper Morton. The Wallace short – dubbed 2036: Nexus Dawn – focused on Wallace’s meeting with government officials to convince them to lift the prohibition on replicants. In order to soothe their fears, the sinister manufacturer gives them a gruesome demonstration of his new breed’s loyalty. The second short, Nowhere To Run, focuses on Bautista’s fugitive replicant as he tries to keep a low profile, only for trouble to find him.
Watanabe talks about his short in a brand new preview video and the anime will cover one of the most important events that took place in the Blade Runner universe following the original. The Blackout of 2022 happened after an EMP caused a worldwide blackout that had a huge, destructive impact across the globe. Replicants took the blame for this event, which quickly led to a prohibition on their manufacture.In discussing his involvement with the project, Watanabe talks about how much of an influence the original Blade Runner was on him, and how he has always wanted to create an anime set in its universe.
“Blade Runner was definitely the film that influenced me most as an anime director. I have always wanted to create an anime related to Blade Runner. I was asked to create a story that connects the original Blade Runner to its sequel. I was careful about two things when creating this anime piece. The first was to pay the greatest respect to the original Blade Runner. The second was to make this anime true to the world but not an imitation.”
Watanabe is the acclaimed director behind Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo, and from the look of the preview, he’ll bringing plenty of his trademark style to the short. These Blade Runner prequels are also proving to be a nice way to tease Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 whilst filling in some of the backstories between the films. They also contrast with the shorts for producer Ridley Scott’s previous film Alien: Covenant, where it felt like the videos where filling in story that should have been presented within the main narrative itself, such as The Crossing.
Blade Runner: Blackout 2022 will debut exclusively on Crunchyroll on September 26th.
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