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'Blade Runner Black Out 2022' Anime From 'Cowboy Bebop' Director Out Sept. 26 on Crunchyroll

by John Rosca / Sep 21, 2017 09:30 AM EDT
Blade Runner Black Out 2022 - Official Preview

Anime short film "Blade Runner Black Out 2022" will have its exclusive worldwide premiere on the Crunchyroll streaming service on September 26, Tuesday at 4:49am PST. It will be streamable on Crunchyroll in all territories except for Asia.

The short is set in the same retro-futuristic world as the original "Blade Runner" film. Its story takes place three years after the events of the movie. Anime News Network says that its plot revolves around a massive blackout that hits the West Coast of the United States. The short also serves as a kind of prequel to the upcoming film "Blade Runner 2049" that is opening on October 6.

"Blade Runner Black Out 2022" is directed by Shinichiro Watanabe, the acclaimed anime director behind such fan-beloved series as "Cowboy Bebop" and "Samurai Champloo." Crunchyroll says that Watanabe was keen to take on the short due to his personal attachment to the original "Blade Runner," which has had a formative influence on his work.

In a "Blade Runner Black Out 2022" official preview video, the director discusses two major ground rules he set for himself in doing the project. "The first was to pay the greatest respect to the original Blade Runner," says Watanabe in the video. "The second was to make this anime true to the world but not an imitation."

"Blade Runner Black Out 2022" is the third in a series of short films created to fill in the blanks of the time gap between the original "Blade Runner" and the upcoming sequel. The others are live-action shorts "2036: Nexus Dawn" and "2048: Nowhere to Run," both of which are available on the Warner Bros. Pictures YouTube channel.

"2036: Nexus Dawn" features "Suicide Squad" actor Jared Leto as Niander Wallace, a brilliant but ruthless engineer who has created a new type of replicant. "2048: Nowhere to Run" offers a brief glimpse at the life of a rogue replicant, Sapper Moran, as played by Dave Bautista ("Guardians of the Galaxy").

"Blade Runner Black Out 2022" will be made available in Asia through Sony Japan's YouTube channel on the same day as the Crunchyroll premiere. It will also come out on the Warner Bros. Pictures YouTube channel 24 hours after its streaming debut on Crunchyroll.

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