The “Blade Runner” franchise is continuing later this year with Adult Swim and Crunchyroll’s animated series “Blade Runner: Black Lotus,” which is set in between Ridley Scott’s original 1982 “Blade Runner” and Denis Villeneuve’s 2017 sequel “Blade Runner 2049.” The show follows Elle (Jessica Henwick in the English-language version, Arisa Shida in the Japanese version), a young woman who wakes up with deadly assassin skills but no memory of her past except a black lotus tattoo on her body. Elle’s mission to discover her identity fuses together elements of both Scott and Villeneuve’s films.
During an appearance at the Television Critics Association press tour (via The Wrap), Alcon Entertainment co-founder and co-CEO Andrew Kosove discussed “Blade Runner: Black Lotus” and how keeping the franchise’s larger timeline in order wasn’t too difficult as the company has two jobs devoted entirely to canon continuity. Alcon owns the “Blade Runner” IP. Kosove served as a producer on Villeneuve’s “Blade Runner 2049.”
“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,” Kosgrove said. “[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 added.
“Blade Runner: Black Lotus” is set in 2032 and “there are little Easter eggs and nuggets of the of the various things occurring in the ‘Blade Runner’ universe that line up into that timeline,” Kosove said. “And so that’s why we picked the year that we did.”
“If you remember, from ‘2049,’ the blackout is a key story point. So this has occurred post-blackout,” Kosove continued. “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” will begin its run in late 2021.