A new short movie taking place in the world of Blade Runner reveals more about the backstory of Jared Leto’s character in Blade Runner 2049. Leto (Suicide Squad) will portray Niander Wallace, a blind man whose Wallace Corp. has acquired the means to create its own replicants. Wallace looked in trailers to be just as powerful and impactful on 2049-era Los Angeles as the Tyrell Corp. was in 2019 in the original Blade Runner, raising questions of how his character rose to prominence.
At San Diego Comic-Con in July, Warner Bros. revealed more details of the timeline between the original Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049. Wallace first solved world hunger with genetically engineered food in 2025, later buying the Tyrell Corp. in 2028. But five years before that in 2023, an indefinite “prohibition” had been imposed on the making of replicants, which Wallace looked to change. Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve (Arrival) employed filmmaker Luke Scott to create a new short movie giving a glimpse into what Wallace did to regain the ability to create replicants.
Collider exclusively released the new short to its YouTube channel, with an introduction by Villeneuve himself. The short, which is titled 2036: Nexus Dawn, takes place in – of course – the year 2036, Wallace shows up with one of his new “Nexus 9” replicants to meet with some government officials. You can watch the video, above.
The officials express great concern over the violence and chaos perpetrated by Tyrell-created replicants during and after the original Blade Runner, including the catastrophic “Blackout” of 2022 that severely damaged the global infrastructure. The events of 2036: Nexus Dawn reveal one of Wallace’s attempts to convince them that his new replicants will not rebel against humans, but will “only obey”. As you’ll see, he has a striking (and bloody) way of showing them how the new replicants operate.
As Wallace, Leto continues to calmly speak in heavy philosophical platitudes, even as his new replicant does things that shock and mortify the officials in the meeting. His character will clearly have a profound impact on the eventual lifting of the ban on replicants and the apparently healthy state of his Wallace Corp. in Blade Runner 2049. This short strikes a good balance between shedding more light on one of the sequel’s most important new characters and retaining just the right amount of mystery to keep fans intrigued.
Other viewers who watch this short without first updating themselves on what happened between 2019 and 2036, may come away confused or frustrated. The short is an easier watch if you’re up to speed on the “Blackout” and the details of how Wallace gained the ability to make replicants in the first place. Still, the inherent mystery has always been part of Blade Runner’s allure, and it seems that there will be more of that intrigue with Leto’s character in Blade Runner 2049.
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