Anime director Shinichiro Watanabe, famous for Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, and Space Dandy, will serve as director on a Blade Runner anime short. The short will be a tie-in to the upcoming Blade Runner 2049 film, titled Blade Runner Black Out 2022.
As implied by its title, the short will take place in the year 2022, three years after the events of the original Blade Runner movie, but a couple of decades before the upcoming film. The short will tell the story of a large power outage on the U.S. west coast. In addition to directing, Watanabe will also be scripting the short, with Cygames Pictures serving as the animation studio.
Sony Pictures released a video (sorry, in Japanese) featuring behind-the-scenes of the production of the short. Most of the footage is from the original movie and its sequel, but there are small snippets of production art and a few seconds of animation tests scattered around in it:
No release date was given for the short, though Blade Runner 2049 opens on October 27 (October 6 in the U.S.), nor was there any word if this short will be released outside of Japan.
Well it looks like word is out that the short will indeed be shown outside Japan. The anime streaming service Crunchyroll will be showing this short starting Tuesday, September 26 at 4:49am PST worldwide except for Asia. Here's a subtitled version of the preview: