– by David Kozlowski

Director Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 is only a couple weeks away, and the hype is mounting (99% “Want to See” on Rotten Tomatoes). The film looks beautiful and all indications are that Villeneuve has nailed the atmosphere and aesthetics of the original film. Fans of the source material, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick, is a complex work and Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982) certainly pulled no punches with its adaptation of the material. Big question is: will contemporary audiences embrace the complexity?

To help introduce his vision, Villeneuve sanctioned three directors to create short films — each intended as a prequel to events in the upcoming film — filling in gaps between 2019 (the original film’s timeline) and the current film’s events. It’s an intriguing concept that’s also giving voice to several up-and-coming filmmakers.

Related – Blade Runner 2049: New Short Film Focuses On Jared Leto’s Character In The Year 2036 [VIDEO]

In the first short film, “2036: Nexus Dawn” (see our “Related” link below), director Luke Scott — son of EP Ridley Scott — focused on a confrontation between the LAPD and the CEO of the Wallace corporation, Niader Wallance (Jared Leto). Wallace’s company creates replicants to serve mankind (for those who can afford them). It’s a moody and intense short, which establishes a dark and sinister tone that brilliantly evokes the original film.

In the new short film “2048: Nowhere To Run,” also directed by Luke Scott, we learn about Dave Bautista’s replicant character, Sapper, who has only been seen in brief glimpses during previous trailers and teasers.

We see Sapper navigating through a densely-populated L.A. Chinatown district, he’s clearly terrified of something and wary of the police — who wear full-body armor and airtight helmets. He meets with a young girl, an old friend apparently, to whom he lends a book. Next, Sapper tries to sell several tiny reptiles on the black market, which he apparently creates as a means of income. It’s a nice bit of characterization, kind of a day-in-the-life of this character, which also reveals Baustista’s impressive acting skills.

Upon exiting the shop, Sapper observes his young friend being attacked by street thugs. After a moment of hesitation, he shifts into action and kills the assailants, but also drawing attention from a police informant. The violence is sudden, shocking, and final — if this is what we’re in store for in the full film, we’re in for something special!

Sapper flees, but he drops a receipt from his reptile transaction, which includes his address. We now have a pretty clear setup for this character and the film itself (with one more short to come). If these short films don’t grab your attention and get you excited about Blade Runner 2049, I don’t know what will. This movie looks epic!

Are you all-in for Blade Runner 2049 or are you holding out for the reviews? Let us know in the comments down below!

Blade Runner 2049 hits theaters in October 6, 2017.

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SOURCE: JoBlo Movie Trailers

David Kozlowski is a writer, podcaster, and visual artist. A U.S. Army veteran, David worked 20 years in the videogame industry and is a graduate of Arizona State University's Film and Media Studies.