A new trailer has been released for Blade Runner: Black Lotus.﻿ The series, which will be shown on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim and social network site Crunchyroll, will be set after the original movie but before the sequel ﻿Blade Runner 2049.﻿ It will follow a female android, or replicant, in 2032 Los Angeles, who has recently discovered her gifts.
Unlike the Blade Runner movies, this edition to the Blade Runner﻿ franchise will be animated. Jessica Henwick will star as the series protagonist Elle, following in the footsteps of Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling respectively. Barkhad Abdi, Wes Bentley, Brian Cox, Henry Czerny, Josh Duhamel, Shinshû Fuji, Takaya Hashi and Gregg Henry will all also lend their voices to the production.
The trailer itself gives the audience a peak into Elle’s story, along with a glimpse into how the imaginative world of Blade Runner translates into an animated form. There is a definite Japanese theme to the series so far, with oriental writing and an anime style seen during the trailer. Elle’s weapon of choice is also shown as a Katana, the sword of a traditional samurai warrior.
The Blade Runner anime series is directed by Shinji Aramaki and Kenji Kamiyama, with Sola Digital Arts and Alcon Entertainment producing. Shinichiro Watanabe will also serve as creative producer. It is set for release in Autumn (Fall) in the States, while UK and international release is yet to be confirmed. Social networking site Crunchyroll previously streamed the short film Blade Runner: Black Out 2022 in September 2017, and will work with Adult Swim to distribute this new series.
In an interview with Adult Swim, co-director Kenji Kamiyama said: “There is an incident called ‘the black-out’ that isn’t shown in the movies. It is an incident where all the world’s public data is lost. This story begins soon after that. Director Aramaki and I have already made two animated series together. His company, Sola Digital Arts, has been making 3D animation for a while so both the staff and the studio’s system set-up are well seasoned and ready to make a 3D anime series. I think the timing was right.”
“This timing allows us to make an addition to a great franchise like Blade Runner﻿ using our animation. We felt it was a good chance for us. I think I was still in my teens when I watched the first ﻿Blade Runner﻿movie. Its cinematic expressiveness made a huge impact on me, and I wasn’t alone. I think just about everyone in Japan at the time who was doing animation or film making at the time was probably influenced by it.”
“The way it was sci-fi, but also hard-boiled, we’d never seen an interpretation of the world like that before. It’s way of expressing things really demonstrated the idea that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. It taught us a lot, it was really almost like a bible to us. It was also surprising to see so much Japanese writing in an English-speaking place like Los Angeles, the way that Japanese culture seemed to have blended into theirs to some degree.”
The first official trailer for Blade Runner: Black Lotus was unveiled over the weekend during the big [email protected] event that took place of the real thing for the second year as the pandemic stretches on. Comic-Con will be doing a live event this November, where more Blade Runner: Black Lotus is expected to have a presence.