Renowned director Shinichiro Watanabe, who you can thank for Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo, is working on a Blade Runner short film called Blade Runner Black Out 2022. As you could probably guess, this will be a cinematic segue between the events of the original film and the forthcoming Blade Runner 2049.
According to Anime News Network, Watanabe will not only be directing the short film, but writing the script as well. The story will revolve around the events following a massive blackout on the west coast of the United States. Mobile game publisher Cygames' anime subsidiary Cygames Pictures will be handling the production, with character design and animation overseen by Shukou Murase (Halo Legends, Mobile Suit Gundam Wing). Music composition is being handled by Flying Lotus. Casting features Kenichirou Matsuda as Iggy, Ichigo Aoba as Trixie, and Makoto Furukawa as Ren.
Everything we're hearing about this project, and everything we're seeing in the trailer above, is so promising. With Watanabe at the helm, you can expect a setting and ambiance that is at once fantastic as well as relatable; he's always had a way of making you feel like the on-screen characters are treading streets that you could walk outside and find yourself. Characterization is always handled very subtly as well, which adds so much to the sense of vicarious adventure. Bebop fans will no doubt also have full faith in Watanabe to handle this gritty sci-fi property with deftness.
Blade Runner Black Out 2022 is slated to start streaming in Japan on October 27th. Hopefully subtitles will be ready to go for the debut, by then we'll be primed and ready. Blade Runner 2049 debuts in the United States on October 6th.