Last week the first of three short films detailing the time between Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049 was released. Titled 2036: Nexus Dawn, the film shows the initial phase of the Nexus program, and Niander Wallace’s (Jared Leto) fight to produce replicants.
Nexus Dawn was filmed by Luke Scott, the son of Blade Runner director Ridley Scott. Luke Scott has followed in his father footsteps, directing a number of short promotional films for Prometheus and Alien: Covenant, as well as the 2016 sci-fi feature Morgan. Scott’s style is herd to lock down in only 5 minutes, but what is impressive about Nexus Dawn is the script.
Within the few short minutes Nexus Dawn has, we get a firm grip on Niander Wallace. His physical limitations, and intellectual supremacy are on full display. He lays out a governing philosophy which will be a guiding path for his character going forward. His disdain for authority, including his readiness to break laws he determines to not be humanity’s best interests. Wallace appears a very suitable candidate to take over the mantle left by Dr. Tyrell and reintroduce the public to the benefits of replicants.
The rest of the cast are mainly faceless lawmakers, but through them we get a glimpse into the public’s fears of replicant technology. We learn about the near 20 year history between Blade Runner and Nexus Dawn. Society has outlawed replicants, and these lawmakers are determined to uphold prohibition. That is until they see the advancements Wallace has made.
Scott believes releasing more short films around blockbuster’s will become a vital form of promotion over the next few years. “It’s sort of cheating. It fills in the gaps where the narrator doesn’t have to worry about the genesis of the narrative. You could rely possibly on these short films and other assets that roll a few weeks before the main event to do that part of the storytelling for the director.”
It is unclear whether or not the next two short films will continue to fill in the history between the feature films, or if they’ll focus on establishing the larger world. It’s also unclear who will be at the helm of both shorts. Villeneuve stats at the beginning of 2036: Nexus Dawn that they are respected artists, but we will have to wait and learn more as each film is dropped in the run up to Blade Runner 2049’s release on October 9th.