Official 'Blade Runner 2049' Short Film is a Prequel Set in 2036

Tuesday, 29 August 2017 - 9:08PM
Blade Runner
Blade Runner 2049
Tuesday, 29 August 2017 - 9:08PM
Official 'Blade Runner 2049' Short Film is a Prequel Set in 2036
YouTube/ColliderVideos
Thus far, Blade Runner 2049 looks like a very pretty film, but not one that makes an awful lot of sense. Director Denis Villeneuve is leaning hard into series' noir roots, by deliberately obscuring a lot of the upcoming movie's plot in order to heighten the tension and drama when we, along with Ryan Gosling's character, have to piece together what's going on.

As such, aside from the fact that this is set in the same universe as the original Blade Runner, we don't really know a lot about 2049, and how the world has changed since the original movie. Thankfully, Villeneuve doesn't intend to leave us entirely in the dark, as a set of three prequels to the new movie aim to plug some gaps in our understanding of the history of this world from the past thirty years.

First up is 2036: Nexus Dawn, directed by Luke Morgan and released by Collider, which gives us some background on the replicant situation in the years following Rick Deckard's first cinematic outing. Apparently, there's been an EMP attack that has left much of the world in darkness, the planet is withering away while space colonies thrive, and replicants are banned under a robot "prohibition" that sounds like something out of the Automata webcomic.

Oh, and Jared Leto is hanging around as Niander Wallace, being creepy and convincing robots to prove their devotion to him in the grossest way possible. See the whole short film below, starring Leto and Benedict Wong (The Martian, Doctor Strange):



Well, it's good that we all got to see that video - it certainly clears up any lingering questions we might have had about the history and plot of Blade Runner 2049.

Okay, so maybe this clip brings up more new questions than it answers, such as why Jared Leto is treated with such reverence in this universe, and why nobody's gotten bored of his long, droning speeches about the nature of humanity when he's essentially the year 2036 equivalent of Steve Jobs, trying to sell an updated tech oddity by proving how good it is at ritualistic suicide.

It seems that, as is often the case, the upcoming Blade Runner story is taking the replicant issue to a new extreme. Where the original movie focuses on the seeds of robot revolution but ultimately tells a very personal story about a few key synthetic souls, 2049 looks like it'll be playing with the idea of a replicant uprising, and the potential for Leto's creations to bring an end to society as it currently exists within the film's world.

It's a logical direction to take, but it does also run the risk of stealing away some of the uniqueness of the original Blade Runner in favor of going with a more generic plot about Elon Musk's worst nightmares.

That said, it's clear that big secrets are being kept from us at this point, and Nexus Dawn may be entirely designed as a red herring to throw us off the scent and convince us to be suspicious of the wrong characters when we get to see the full movie.

After all, if Jared Leto is playing an actual villain here, he's doing so in such an obvious fashion that he might as well be stroking a white cat. It's worth assuming that there's more going on here than meets the eye.

Science Fiction
Sci-Fi Movies
Blade Runner
Blade Runner 2049
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