The iconic Blade Runner franchise continues to grow, this time in television format, in Blade Runner: Black Lotus. Black Lotus is a co-production between Crunchyroll and Adult Swim. The show is set in between the original 1982 film directed by Ridley Scott and Denis Villeneuve’s 2017 sequel Blade Runner 2049. The show follows Elle, a young woman who wakes up with one day to find she has the skills of a trained assassin and no memory of her past. Her only clue is a black lotus tattoo on her body. Elle sets off to find her missing identity, with themes that are sure to tie in with those of Scott and Villeneuve’s films.
Andrew Kosove, Alcon Entertainment co-founder and co-CEO, had a few things to say during an appearance at the Television Critics Association press tour. He discussed the project and the difficulties of keeping with the Blade Runner franchise’s timeline. According to Kosove, that job was less difficult than expected due to two individuals whose jobs include keeping the canon in check! Alcon Entertainment owns the Blade Runner IP and Kosove served as a producer in Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049. Kosove had this to say in an interview with Indiewire.
“We have two people who work for us at Alcon whose – I wouldn’t say it’s their full-time job, but it’s the majority of their job. They take it really seriously, interweaving the different stories and making sure the timelines, the canon, the character motivations are all seamless and have a logic within the canon. Our goal at Alcon, because we’re the keeper of the Blade Runner IP, and therefore we take the canon of the franchise very seriously, because the fans, of which there are so many, have invested so much of themselves in the material.”
Kosove goes on to state that Blade Runner: Black Lotus is set in 2032 and will feature easter eggs of various past titles in the Blade Runner universe that will line up into the timeline, which is why they picked the year that they did.
“If you remember, from 2049, the blackout is a key story point. So this has occurred post-blackout. It’s occurred at the point at which replicants have been banned…and the Tyrell Corporation is in trouble. But of course, we have the new version of the Tyrell Corporation, which is coming along with a new version of replicant. The timeline falls about halfway between the end of the first ‘Blade Runner’ and the start of 2049. So we’re right in sort of that midway point where the character that, of course, Jared Leto plays in our movie, is coming into prominence and bringing his vision of what replicants can be to the world.”
The 13 episode debut season of Blade Runner: Black Lotus is set to premiere in late 2021 on Adult Swim’s Toonami programming block as well as Crunchyroll’s streaming service. In July, a trailer was released. Elle will be played by Jessica Henwick in the English language version of the show, and Arisa Shida in the Japanese language version. The casts were revealed in July 2021 during San Diego Comic-Con. This news comes to us from IndieWire.