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Adult Swim, Crunchyroll & Alcon Producing All-New ‘Blade Runner’ Anime Series

Sola Digital Arts to provide animation services; ‘Cowboy Bebop’ director Shinichiro Watanabe to serve as creative producer.

Anime prequel ‘Blade Runner: Black Out 2022,’ set just a few years after the events of the first ‘Blade Runner’ movie and 27 years before the sequel, was directed by ‘Cowboy Bebop’ director Shinichirô Watanabe.

Cable net Adult Swim and Crunchyroll have partnered with Alcon Entertainment’s Alcon Television Group to produce and distribute a new anime series inspired by the critically acclaimed Oscar-winning movie Blade Runner 2049.

Blade Runner – Black Lotus will feature 13 30-minute episodes produced by animation studio Sola Digital Arts (Ultraman). Shinji Aramaki (Appleseed) and Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex) will direct all episodes of the premiere season, which will follow their current directorial work on the upcoming Ghost in the Shell series reboot. Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo) is a creative producer. While the series plot is being kept under wraps, producers have confirmed the story will take place in 2032 and will include some familiar characters from the Blade Runner universe.

Adult Swim will have the worldwide rights (excluding Asia) to distribute the English dubbed versions of the series and will air the English dubbed episodes of Blade Runner – Black Lotus on the network’s popular anime programming block Toonami. Similarly, Crunchyroll will handle worldwide streaming for its community of more than 45 million registered users and two million subscribers.

Adult Swim and Crunchyroll are both divisions of WarnerMedia, with Blade Runner – Black Lotus being one of several upcoming exciting collaborations including the recently debuted Mob Psycho 100 on Toonami.

“I first saw Blade Runner in 1982, at age 11. It has remained one of the defining films of my life,” said Jason DeMarco, SVP/creative director of Adult Swim on-air. “To be able to explore more of this universe, with the incredible talent we have on board, is a dream come true.”

Blade Runner is a seminal work, and its influence permeates the genre,” said Sae Whan Song, head of business development for Crunchyroll. “Adult Swim shares our excitement to bring this new series to fans, and we’re looking forward to building on this franchise together.”

Alcon’s Andrew Kosove, Broderick Johnson, Laura Lancaster, Al-Francis Cuenca, and Sola Digital Art’s Joseph Chou will executive produce the project. Alcon exec Ben Roberts will serve as co-executive producer. Production IG’s Mitsuhisa Ishikawa is participating as production advisor.

Kosove and Johnson stated, “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.” Lancaster added, “We are thrilled to have Shinji Aramaki, Kenji Kamiyama and Shinichiro Watanabe as our creative partners and look forward to the exciting journey ahead.”

Source: Adult Swim

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.

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