Blade Runner is getting more of a franchise turn now with an exciting announcement coming down this week. Blade Runner: Black Lotus, an animated series being officially confirmed, and Deadline reporting official cast member announcements as well. The Blade Runner series will follow the events of the recent short film Black Out and will air on Adult Swim in the next couple of years.
This new Blade Runner series will take place in 2032 in between the events of the original movie and before Blade Runner: 2049 the 2017 sequel starring Ryan Gosling. What little is known about the plot has it that the center of the story will be a female replicant Elle who will be voiced by Jessica Henwick. She’s had roles in Netflix’s Defenders series as well as voice work in Blood of Zeus.
The new Blade Runner series has some strong creatives working behind it as well. Kenji Kamiyama and Shinji Aramaic will co-direct and have worked on a number of different projects together. Most recently were animated projects Ghost in the Shell: SAC 2045 as well as the currently running series Ultraman. The latter has received positive critical reviews and is a follow-up to the popular Japanese series. The creative team will also have a hand in The Lord of the Rings: The War of Rohirrim which will take an anime spin on the popular franchise for Amazon Prime. It is part of their billion-dollar purchase of the Lord of the Rings franchise rights from a few years ago.
Other voices lending their talents to the Blade Runner series for the English version of the show will include Will Yun Lee (Rampage, San Andreas), as well as Samira Wiley, who is best known for her roles in Orange is the New Black and Handmaids Tale. Plus, Brian Cox is in the mix as well.
As with other stories in this franchise, this new Blade Runner series will involve a mystery around the replicant Elle who appears to have been created for some unknown, secretive purpose. Piecing together the futuristic and dystopian aspects of the previous films into an animated feature looks like the perfect medium for this kind of story, a way to expand the universe well beyond what we’ve seen in the other films.
This new Blade Runner series was first put into production back in 2018 following the Denis Villeneuve follow-up film. It starred Ryan Gosling as K and reprised Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard as well. It underperformed at the box office with *only* $261 million on the roughly $190 million budget. But it was a hit with critics, sitting at 88% on Rotten Tomatoes thanks to its unique visuals and slow-burn tone that elicited much of what made the original movie work.
Apparently, this new Blade Runner series, in addition to bringing along a whole new set of characters to the universe and the franchise will nod to, and even bring in other familiar faces as well. Though along those lines, the news is being kept under wraps. The show will release next year but will get an extended preview at ComicCon later this month.