Blade Runner 2049 is nearly docking in cinemas worldwide, and most of what we’ve seen so far looks more spectacular than C-beams glittering in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. However, before October 5th’s worldwide release, we get one final short film prequel, and it’s a stunning anime prologue entitled Black Out 2022, which you can watch below.
These short films have acted to fill in the timelapse between Ridley Scott’s original, which was set in 2019, and the titular date of Denis Villeneuve’s eagerly anticipated sequel, providing us with a potted history of the situation between humans and their synthetic counterparts before 2049 answers all.
Directed by Shinichiro Watanabe, who contributed towards genre milestones The Animatrix and Cowboy Bebop, Blade Runner: Black Out 2022 tells the story of the rift between humans and replicants, in particular the Nexus 6 and 8 series, who were hunted down for extermination, but decided to rise up against their human oppressors.
The animation is terrific, as is the music, both of which feel so intrinsically Blade Runner.
2049 stars Ryan Gosling as LAPD Officer K, who uncovers a secret which could throw what’s left of an increasingly decrepit dystopia into further decline. It’s a mystery that leads him to seek out the help of the original’s protagonist, Deckard (Harrison Ford), who has been missing for 30 years having fallen in love and absconded with Sean Young’s replicant, Rachael.
Directed by Denis Villeneuve, the man responsible for modern classics, Sicario and Arrival, Blade Runner 2049 will be released by Warner Bros. with Sony Pictures handling worldwide distribution on October 6th 2017. The film also stars Jared Leto (Suicide Squad), Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy), Robin Wright (Wonder Woman), Ana De Armas, Edward James Olmos (the original Blade Runner), Lennie James (The Walking Dead) and MacKenzie Davis (The Martian).
Image: Warner Bros Pictures/Sony Pictures UK