Blade Runner short films get a bloody anime from Cowboy Bebop director
Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve tapped three of his filmmaker friends to create three different short films to help fill in the gaps between the original Blade Runner and his sci-fi sequel. The first one took us to the year 2036 with Jared Leto’s Niander Wallace. The second brought us a look at Dave Bautista’s Sapper in the year 2048. The final short, which was first released in Japan and has now been unveiled in the U.S., is an anime prologue from Cowboy Bebop‘s Shinichiro Watanabe, who brings us to the year 2022.
If you’re not caught up on the supplemental Blade Runner materials that break down all the events leading up to the sequel, 2022 was the year of an immense blackout that crippled the U.S. — and this short is aptly named “Black Out 2022.” Authorities never discovered the source of the EMP, but it served to reignite humans’ hatred for replicants and a Replicant Prohibition would later come to pass.
As it turns out, two replicants and a human were responsible — the Nexus 8s Trixie (Luci Christian) and Iggy (Jovan Jackson), and Ren (Bryson Bauguss). Edward James Olmos makes a surprising return as the voice of Gaff, his character in Blade Runner. Watch above.
Blade Runner 2049 picks up 30 years after the events of the original Blade Runner, released in 1982, and the events of these short films. Ryan Gosling portrays K, an LAPD officer/Blade Runner, who tracks down Harrison Ford’s Rick Deckard when he learns of a world-altering secret.
Critics are already hailing the film as a “stunning” and “mind-blowing” “sci-fi symphony.”
The film opens in theaters on Oct. 6.