Blade Runner will be returning to screens later this fall – this time as a 3-D animated series on Adult Swim and Crunchyroll. In their Comic-Con@Home Panel, Black Lotus co-directors Shinji Aramaki and Kenji Kamiyama, executive producer Joseph Chou, voice director Wes Gleason, and actress Jessica Henwick unveiled a first look at the series and plenty of hints at what to expect when it airs.
Check out the first trailer for Blade Runner: Black Lotus below, and keep reading for a recap of the panel.
A New Perspective for Blade Runner
The Blade Runner films were told from the perspective of Blade Runners – cops who hunt down Replicants (human-passing Androids). Black Lotus, however, changes the point-of-view from the hunter to the hunted. The series focuses on Elle (voiced by Jessica Henwick). Elle is a replicant with no knowledge of who she is or where she came from. As explained by Henwick, “Elle wakes up and she doesn’t know who she is or how she got to where she is and all she has for a clue is this tattoo. And so she’s experiencing everything for the first time. What does it feel like to fall in love for the first time? What does it feel like to feel rage and fury and joy? And asking all these big questions of what does it mean to be human? How do we define humanity between a replicant and a human? What’s the difference?”
Much of Elle’s journey revolves around the idea of what makes someone human. What is the difference between a human and a replicant? Why is one more human than the other? Through this journey, according to Kamiyama, the show will explore themes of discrimination, alienation, and fighting against injustice. For Elle, the big question is how do you stand and find your own identity in a world like Blade Runner‘s? And that struggle of the individual vs the society/world will be a big focus of the season.
How Black Lotus Ties Into the Wider Blade Runner Universe
Black Lotus takes place in 2032 – ten years after an event known as the Black Out. In the Black Out, much of the world’s power grid went down, throwing the world into chaos. The Black Out was previously explored in Blade Runner Black Out 2022, one of the short films released in the leadup to Blade Runner 2049. In the years after the Black Out, there’s a bit of a power vacuum. Blade Runner fans know that the Tyrell Corporation held a lot of power in the first film while the Wallace Corporation held a lot of power in the second film. But what happened between those movies? How did the Tyrell Corporation fall from power, paving the way for the Wallace Corporation to gain it? According to Aramaki, the show will explore what, exactly, happened between the two Blade Runner films.
Similarly, Niander Wallace Jr. (voiced by Wes Bently) will appear in the series, alongside his father (voiced by Brian Cox). Wallace Jr. played a key role in Blade Runner 2049 (where he was played by Jared Leto), acting primarily as the antagonist to K and Decker. But how did he become the man seen in that film? Blade Runner: Black Lotus looks to shine a light on that very question as the show delves deeper into who he is.
Blade Runner: Black Lotus features the vocal talents of Henwick, Bently, Cox, Will Yun Lee, Samira Wiley, Josh Duhamel, Peyton List, Stephen Root, Barkhad Abdi, Gregg Henry, Henry Czerny, and Jason Spisak.
The 13-episode series premieres later this fall on Adult Swin and Cruchyroll. Until then, you can watch the full panel below:
Part-time writer, part-time theatre nerd, full-time dork.