'Blade Runner 2049' Prologue Series Fills in the Gaps After the Original

'2036: Nexus Dawn' introduces the new breed of replicant.
'Blade Runner 2049'

What happened in the years between the original Blade Runner movie and Denis Villeneuve's upcoming sequel Blade Runner 2049? A new series of shorts plans to explain some of the important shifts in the mythology of replicants and replicant hunters.

The three shorts, overseen by Villeneuve and directed by other filmmakers, "dramatize key events that occurred after 2019, when the first Blade Runner takes place, but before 2049, when [the] new Blade Runner story begins," according to Villeneuve, who introduces the first video, 2036: Nexus Dawn.

Directed by Luke Scott, Nexus Dawn is, indeed, a key event — it features the emergence of Niander Wallace (Jared Leto), who claims to have created a new line of replicants that improve upon those seen in the original movie, now outlawed by authorities, much to Wallace's unhappiness.

"Humanity has only survived this long by crushing Earth to suit its needs," Wallace tells the assembled rulers in the movie, cryptically. "The stars, our only hope, are hidden behind the lives you will not allow me to create." In his words, he seeks to create new life to help existing off-world colonies to survive — but does he have another other ambitions hidden behind his words?

At San Diego Comic-Con last month, the Blade Runner 2049 panel revealed a timeline of what happened between the original and 2049.

Among the highlights:

2023: Replicant prohibition takes effect.
2025: Wallace Corporation helps solve the world food shortage.
2030: Wallace helps legislation repealing replicant prohibition.
2049: Thirty years after Deckard and Rachel escaped, Los Angeles has changed dramatically. Humans who can't afford to get to offworld colonies are left behind. Society is divided between two classes: replicant and humans.

Blade Runner 2049 is set to be released Oct. 6.