Good news, Blade Runner fans. The franchise is set to continue on the small screen in animated form. Adult Swim has teamed with streaming service Crunchyroll for a Blade Runner Anime series titled Black Lotus. The series will serve as a sequel to the original sci-fi classic from director Ridley Scott and a prequel to the events of last year's critically-acclaimed sequel, Blade Runner 2049. It will air as part of Adult Swim's Toonami block and will stream exclusively on Crunchyroll. Jason DeMarco, SVP and creative director of Adult Swim on-air, had this to say in a statement.
"I first saw Blade Runner in 1982, at age 11. It has remained one of the defining films of my life. To be able to explore more of this universe, with the incredible talent we have on board, is a dream come true."
The series is being produced in partnership with Alcon Television Group. Blade Runner Black Lotus will take place in the year 2032, firmly in the middle of both movies. While no specific characters have been confirmed, the anime series will feature familiar faces. The first season will consist of 13, 30-minute episodes, which will be produced by Sola Digital Arts. Sae Whan Song, head of business development for Crunchyroll, had this to say.
"Blade Runner is a seminal work, and its influence permeates the genre. Adult Swim shares our excitement to bring this new series to fans, and we're looking forward to building on this franchise together."
There were rumors floating around about a possible series taking place in the universe inspired by Philip K. Dick and his book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and, even though it's not live-action, those rumors turned out to be true. This should come as great news to many cinephiles who adored director Denis Villeneuve's Blade Runner 2049, which is considered a masterpiece by many and went on to win two Oscars, but simply didn't do enough business at the box office to justify further movie installments. However, it did provide enough renewed interest to bring this anime to life. Andrew Kosove Broderick Johnson of Alcon had this to say.
"The Blade Runner universe is an incredibly deep well for story and character with its world and mythology that audiences have been debating and talking about since inception. We are excited to continue exploring that world via this anime series."
Originally released in 1982, Ridley Scott's now heralded Blade Runner was initially a flop that, over the years (largely thanks to improved cuts of the movie that were released on home video), gained cult status and earned its place amongst the greatest sci-fi movies ever produced. Shinji Aramaki (Appleseed) and Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex) are on board to direct episodes of the anime series, with Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop) on board as a producer. Blade Runner - Black Lotus does not yet have a premiere date. We'll be sure to keep you posted as further details on the project are made available. This was previously reported by The Hollywood Reporter.