In the run-up to the release of Blade Runner 2049, three short prequels showing events that occurred between the 2019 setting of the original film and the 2049 setting of the sequel have been released.

  • Black Out 2022, directed by Cowboy Bebop creator ShinichirĂ´ Watanabe, tells the story of an attempt by some replicants to engineer a massive electro magnetic pulse to wipe out humanity's records of the identity of replicants, who are already subject to nativist riots on the streets.

  • 2036: Nexus Dawn shows a character from the new film, played by Jared Leto, who has taken over the Tyrell Corporation's assets in the wake of a ban on the production of replicants and now wants to revive the production of replicants (who he assures us will be more obedient in this generation).

  • 2048: Nowhere to Run shows us a glimpse of the life of secrecy lived among humans by a replicant played by Dave Bautista just before the new film's era: 'skin jobs' appear to be as despised snd feared (and to have as much of an advantage over humans in terms of brute strength) as was the case back in 2019.

The thing is, as a general rule I tend not to follow up on pre-release snippets like this; my general view is that if a particular event or encounter is important to the film then the director damned well should have ound time for it in the script they shot.

The thing is, though, Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve earned several million brownie points with me for his adaptation of Arrival so I'm willing to cut him some slack.1 I'm much happier to see Villeneuve take a crack at extending the story Ridley Scott started telling us than I would be to see Scott having another shot at it.

  1. Also, the Watanabe anime looks terrific, and makes me wish for more Cowboy Bebop. Or even just for a fleeting appearance, maybe in a crowd scene, by Spike Spiegel or Faye Valentine or Jet Black. Even if they were just a face in a crowd scene, passing by the main action. I mean, the entire internet would explode if Watanabe or Villeneuve did that, but it'd be so worth it….)