Warner Bros. panel at Comic-Con brought us a lot of information about the new Blade Runner, bridging the events of the original Ridley Scott classic with the sequel set for release this fall. Although both films share a name, it seems that 2049 is a lot different than the world of Deckard and the replicants he was charged with hunting down. Roy Batty didn’t live to see it, but replicants are now the dominant “race” on the planet Earth and Humans are either living in squalor or they’ve moved to off-world colonies. And somewhere in there, Deckard plays a part that Ryan Gosling’s K has to figure out.
According to the timeline released at the convention, the original film ended in 2019 — so technically we should have flying spinner vehicles now, right? — when Deckard escaped with Rachel with Gaff likely on their trail. Edward James Olmos will return in the sequel, but it’s hard to know exactly what it all means right now. What we do know is that right after Deckard escaped, a new replicant model was created by the Tyrell Corporation in 2020 called the Nexus 8s. If you’ve seen Dave Bautista in the trailers, he is this type of replicant that doesn’t experience the life span limits of those in the Nexus 6 line from the original film.
Gosling’s character visits a facility where these new models were created and is greeted by several models inside of these glass preservation boxes. As with most of the shots, it is all very striking to see and each scene seems to take on its own little existence. These new replicants are apparently easier to detect by this point in the future and a definite evolution from the older models that give replicants “a bad name according to K’s replicant host.
The timeline then states that a prohibition of replicants went into effect in 2023, sending them into hiding until Jared Leto’s Neander Wallace helps get the ban repealed before creating more replicants. He also helps to solve a hunger crisis that plagued the planet by this point, the chained results of an EMP disaster that causes a global blackout years prior. Wallace Corp becomes a major force due to these two aspects, giving Leto’s character a lot of power and bumping replicants to a majority soon enough.