In a little more than a week, the long-awaiting sequel to Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner will arrive in theaters. Directed by Denis Villeneuve — whose masterful Arrival was released last year — Blade Runner 2049 is set thirty years after the first film, and follows a new Blade Runner named K (Ryan Gosling) who uncovers a secret that could destroy society.
So far, the trailers and teasers have looked very promising; if nothing else, they indicate that Blade Runner 2049 will be filled to the brim with mind-blowing images. And now some early reviews are coming out, most of which appear to be very positive. But to really get prepared for the film, take a look at these three official shorts that Villeneuve commissioned to explore the time between the two Blade Runner films, and set the stage for his sequel.
2036: Nexus Dawn
Directed by Luke Scott (son of original Blade Runner director Ridley Scott) and starring Jared Leto and Benedict Wong. 2036: Nexus Dawn shows Leto’s Niander Wallace, who will be the antagonist in the sequel, showing off one of his new replicants with shocking results.
2048: Nowhere to Run
Also directed by Luke Scott, 2048: Nowhere to Run focuses on a Nexus-8 replicant named Sapper Morton (Dave Bautista) who is trying to hustle a living while laying low. But a violent confrontation exposes his existence to some interested parties.
Black Out 2022
Black Out 2022 is the Blade Runner short I’m most excited about, largely because it’s an animé short directed by the great Shinichirō Watanabe (Kids on the Slope, Samurai Champloo, Cowboy Bebop). It also features design work from Shūkō Murase (Genocidal Organ, Ergo Proxy, Witch Hunter Robin). In Black Out 2022, replicant resisance fighters and sympathetic humans take steps to ensure that humans can never harm replicants again.
Blade Runner 2049 arrives in theaters around the U.S. on October 6, 2017.
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I've also written for Christ and Pop Culture, ScreenAnarchy, Filmwell, and Christian Research Journal. I pay the bills by creating beautiful user interfaces and websites for Firespring and Red Bicycle.