Before Blade Runner 2049 takes viewers three decades past the events of Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic, Shinichiro Watanabe aims to bridge the gap between the films in a whole new format.
The acclaimed director of Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo spearheaded anime short film titled Blade Runner Black Out 2022, set three years following the events of the first Blade Runner. Sony Pictures Japan has unveiled a first look at the project in a new behind-the-scenes video.
The footage starts out with Watanabe discussing how pivotal Scott’s film was in his development as a writer and director: “The work that has influenced me the most in my anime profession would be, of course, Blade Runner.”
The notion should come as no surprise to fans of Cowboy Bebop given its aesthetics and tone; the sci-fi/Western portrays a very down-to-earth and hard-boiled grittiness, very similar to Scott’s vision in Blade Runner.
Watanabe’s short film will debut Sept. 26 on Sony Pictures Japan YouTube channel.
Written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green and directed by Denis Villeneuve (Arrival), Blade Runner 2049 stars Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Robin Wright, Jared Leto, Barkhad Abdi, Lennie James, Mackenzie Davis and Sylvia Hoeks. Executive produced by Ridley Scott, the film hits theaters on Oct. 6.