As part of an extensive marketing campaign for Blade Runner 2049 – the upcoming sequel to Ridley Scott's iconic 1982 sci-fi film – Warner Bros. and Sony Pictures are releasing three short films before the global release on October 6. The first one, called 2036: Nexus Dawn, is now available free of cost on YouTube.
Directed by Luke Scott – son of Ridley Scott – the six-minute short follows Jared Leto's Niander Wallace as he meets with a group of lawmakers headed by Benedict Wong, to convince them to lift the ban on replicants on Earth, which is known as the Prohibition in the Blade Runner world.
The replicants are called Nexus 9, which builds on the Blade Runner canon. It was the killings performed by Nexus 6 replicants on an off-world colony in 2018 (the original Blade Runner was set in 2019) that prompted Earth officials to declare them illegal, and set up the Blade Runner taskforce.
A website has also been set up to help fans and viewers bridge the 30-year gap between the two feature films. It says that a massive blackout occurred in the US in 2022, that led to markets crashing worldwide, and food shortages, which was blamed on replicants.
Wallace helped end the global crisis in 2025 with advancements in GMO crops, but replicant production on Earth was halted. He then went on to acquire assets of the bankrupt Tyrell Corporation – the makers of the Nexus replicants – in 2028.
In short, it's been 13 years since replicant prohibition is in place when 2036: Nexus Dawn begins. Meeting with the lawmakers, Wallace reveals that his bodyguard and aide – he's completely blind – is in fact a new generation android, Nexus 9.
“This is an angel and I made him,” says Leto’s Wallace, to shock from the faces of officials, who argue that it's illegal. Wallace assures them humans will have full control, even over the replicants' free-will.
Towards the end, he asks him to choose between his own life or Wallace's. The replicant willingly stabs itself with a piece of glass, killing itself in the process.
Directed by Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, Arrival), Blade Runner 2049 stars Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Jared Leto, Ana de Armas, Mackenzie Davis, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Carla Juri, Lennie James, Dave Bautista, and Barkhad Abdi.
The film's runtime was also revealed on Wednesday, at 2 hours and 43 minutes, including 11 minutes for credits. Blade Runner 2049 will hit cinema screens globally on October 6.