Thirty-five years is a long time to wait for a sequel to one of the all-time great science-fiction films. But as we wait just a month or so longer for “Blade Runner 2049” to finally hit theaters, director Denis Villeneuve is releasing some shorts to hold us over.
Villeneuve said that when he first saw Ridley Scott’s original “Blade Runner,” released in 1982, he could “immediately recognize its impact on the cinematic world,” adding that now he has been given the amazing opportunity to continue the story.
And Villeneuve is sharing that gift, as he turned to artistic friends to reveal their vision for key story points that have occurred since the first film, which was set in 2019.
Luke Scott directs “2036: Nexus Dawn,” set in that year in Los Angeles, and at 5 1/2 minutes in length, the film does not include “2049” star Ryan Gosling, but we do get an extended look at replicant creator Niander Wallace (Jared Leto). He makes a case for his work in front of some sort of panel, which offers details on a prohibition that has been placed on android technology.
“Humanity has only survived this long by crushing the earth to suit its needs,” Wallace says. “The stars, our only hope, are hidden behind the lives you will not allow me to create.”
The discussion of life and death turns decidedly deadly for at least one “person” in the room.
And based on trailers for “2049,” Wallace — whether he ultimately gains permission under the law or not — gets back to the business of creating artificial beings.