Shinichiro Watanabe, director of Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo, is directing a short animated Blade Runner project. The film, titled "Blade Runner Black Out 2022," is being produced by Sony Pictures Japan. A behind-the-scenes sneak peek is embedded above.
According to Yahoo! Japan, the anime takes place during a "large-scale blackout" in 2022 that shuts down industry, causes a food shortage and creates an overall environment of lawlessness. It's up to a scientist named "Wallace" to save the world.
Watanabe is a reverent fan of Ridley Scott's masterpiece. He says in the sneak peek video that the film had a lasting effect on him and has greatly influenced his work over the years. Watanabe's goal in making the short movie is to pay a respectful homage to Blade Runner, while not creating an "imitation."
The film will be released on Sony Pictures Japan's YouTube channel on September 26 and is apparently one of several projects slated as preludes to Blade Runner 2049. No word yet on whether or not they'll make it out before Blade Runner 2049's October 6 premiere.