×

‘Blade Runner’ Anime Series Set at Adult Swim, Crunchyroll

“Blade Runner” is coming to the small screen as an animated series.

Variety has learned that Alcon Television Group has partnered with Adult Swim and Crunchyroll to produce and distribute a new anime series inspired by “Blade Runner 2049.”

“Blade Runner-Black Lotus,” as it will be called, will consist of 13 half-hour episodes. Details of the plot are being kept under wraps, but it is known that the story will take place in 2032 and will include some established characters from the “Blade Runner” universe.

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

The series will be produced by animation studio Sola Digital Arts. Shinji Aramaki and Kenji Kamiyama 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 will serve as creative producer. Watanabe previously wrote and directed the anime short film “Blade Runner Black Out 2022,” which served as one of three anime short prequels to “Blade Runner 2049.” Aramaki also worked on “Black Out 2022” in the art department.

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

“’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.”

Adult Swim will have the worldwide rights to distribute the English dubbed versions of the series excluding Asia, and will air the English dubbed episodes of the series on its anime programming block, Toonami. Crunchyroll will handle worldwide streaming for its community of more than 45 million registered users and 2 million subscribers. Adult Swim and Crunchyroll are both divisions of WarnerMedia.

“Blade Runner 2049” debuted in theater in Oct. 2017. Produced in part by Alcon Entertainment, the film starred Ryan Gosling and saw the return of Harrison Ford in the role of Rick Deckard, which he originated in the first “Blade Runner” film. It went on to gross over $250 million worldwide.

“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,” said Kosove and Johnson. “We are excited to continue exploring that world via this anime series.”

More TV

  • 'Grown-ish,' 'Good Trouble' Renewed at Freeform

    'Grown-ish,' 'Good Trouble' Renewed at Freeform

    Freeform has renewed comedy “Grown-ish” for a fourth season, a day after its season 3 premiere, and drama “Good Trouble” for a third. The pickup announcement was made at the network’s Television Critics’ Association press tour day. “Freeform is a megaphone for stories that deserve to be told and a place where the world’s biggest [...]

  • 'The Sinner' film premiere

    Freeform Orders Drama 'Last Summer' With Jessica Biel Producing

    Freeform has picked up the drama “Last Summer” to series, it was announced Friday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. The show had been picked up to pilot at the cabler back in September. Bert V. Royal serves as writer and executive producer, with Jessica Biel and Michelle Purple executive producing under their [...]

  • Hank Azaria Apu

    Hank Azaria Says He Will No Longer Voice Apu on 'The Simpsons'

    Hank Azaria says he is officially stepping down as the voice of Apu on “The Simpsons.” “I won’t be doing the voice anymore, unless there’s someway to transition it or something,” Azaria said in an interview with SlashFilm. “What they’re going to do with the character is their call. It’s up to them and they [...]

  • Shepard Smith

    MSNBC Mulls Daytime Shuffle, But Not a Primetime Perch For Shepard Smith

    MSNBC executives may be working their way through a number of programming and schedule changes in months to come, but launching Shepard Smith in primetime probably isn’t one of them. Despite a report in The Daily Beast suggesting that MSNBC honchos might want to consider the former Fox News anchor for one of its primetime [...]

  • Olivia Colman Phoebe Waller Bridge Brad

    SAG Awards Predictions 2020: 'Parasite,' 'Fleabag' and Other Top Contenders

    No matter who wins at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday, it will be a surprise. That’s because there aren’t many obvious frontrunners in either the TV or film categories at this year’s competition. Around 160,000 members from across the country vote for the SAG Awards, and with such a large voting body, members [...]

  • This is Us

    Los Angeles On-Location Production Slides 5% in Fourth Quarter

    Overall on-location filming in Los Angeles dropped 5% from October through December, according to a report released by permitting agency FilmLA on Friday. Officials said the decline in overall shoot days to 9,839 was due partly to record activity levels in 2018, which generated the highest level of local production activity of any quarter in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content