Watch Cowboy Bebop Director's Stunning Blade Runner Anime Short

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Blade Runner 2049 is the long-awaited sequel to the sci-fi classic Blade Runner, and it finally arrives next week. In advance of this, Warner has been releasing a series of short film prequels to bridge the gap between the original film and the new one. You can watch the first two here and here.

The third promo has now been released, and it’s a little different to the others. It’s an anime short titled Blade Runner Black Out 2022, and is directed by Shinichiro Watanabe, who helmed the classic anime series Cowboy Bebop. The film is set three years after the original movie, during a massive power outage in futuristic Los Angeles. The whole thing can be watched exclusively at Crunchyroll, and you can check out a teaser below:

Watanabe has spoken about the influence that the original Blade Runner had upon his work, and in the short’s teaser, described the challenge of remaining faithful to the movie while not copying it directly. “I was careful about two things when creating this anime piece,” he said. “The first was to pay the greatest respect to the original Blade Runner. The second was to make this anime true to the world [of Blade Runner], but not an imitation.”

Blade Runner Black Out 2022 has a score by noted electronic musician Flying Lotus (real name Stephen Ellison). Earlier this month, Ellison tweeted: “Doing something with Watanabe was a dream of mine. Cowboy Bebop is one of the greatest! Seeing Blade Runner imagery set to my music was a beautiful feeling.”

In related news, in June it was reported that an American TV adaptation of Cowboy Bebop is in the works. It is to be written by Christopher Yost, whose previous credits include Thor and Thor: The Dark World for Marvel.

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