Alright fellow theory nerds, time to get crackin’. The Blade Runner team dropped by San Diego Comic-Con as a part of Warner Bros. big Hall H extravaganza, and as a part of the presentation they dropped a detailed timeline that reveals up a whole lot of new information about what happened in the world of Blade Runner between Ridley Scott‘s classic 1982 film and the upcoming sequel, Blade Runner 2049. Set decades after the original, Denis Villeneuve‘s sequel follows Ryan Gosling as a new Blade Runner, LAPD Officer K, when his mission puts him on the track of Rick Deckard (Harison Ford).
Of course, the new timeline isn’t offering any details about what Deckard has been up to all these year, though it does note that he escaped Los Angeles with the Replicant Rachel (Sean Young), however, there’s a lot of world-building here. There’s the fall and return of the Replicants, and the rise of Niander Wallace (Jared Leto) — a scientist powerful force in the rebirth of new Replicant models who takes over Tyrell Corp. He also is a pioneer of genetically engineered food, which is mentioned so much in the timeline it certainly feels important. And finally, there’s the fall of Los Angeles, ravaged by rising sea levels, poverty and sickness. I’m pretty curious about the ellipses in 2048.
Blade Runner 2049‘s screenplay comes from Blade Runner scribe Hampton Fancher and American Gods co-creator/Logan co-writer Michael Green, with Scott on board as executive producer. Check out the new story details in the video below, but be warned, it goes by fast and the type is small so I’ve typed out the whole timeline to make it easier to parse through the details.
After a bloody mutiny by a Nexus 6 combat team in an Off-world colony, Replicants are declared illegal on Earth — under penalty of death.
A prototype Replicant, Rachael, and Officer Rick Deckard, a Blade runner, escape Los Angeles together.
After the death of founder Eldon Tyrell, the Tyrell Corporation rushes a new line of Nexus 8 Replicants onto the market for use Off-world. Ulike previous Nexus models, built with 4-year lifespans, the Nexus 8s hae open-ended lifespans, as well as ocular implants for easy identification
2022 The Blackout
An EMP of unknown origin detonates somewhere in the West Coast. Cities are shut down for weeks. Electronic data is corrupted or destroyed over most of the United States. Finance and trade markets crash worldwide. Food supplies become dire. Theories spread as to the cause of the Blackout; none are proven. The most popular blame Replicants.
2023 Replicant Prohibition
The governing authorities legislate an indefinite “prohibition” on replicant production. Nexus 6 models are now all decommissioned due to their programmed 4-year lifespans. Surviving Nexus 8 models are to be retired. Those that can, go into hiding.
Idealistic scientist Niander Wallace pioneers advancements in genetically modified food and shares his patents for free, marking an end to a global crisis. His company, Wallace Corporation, E&C, expands across the globe — and into the Off-world colonies.
Niander Wallace acquires the remains of the bankrupt Tyrell Corporation.
Niander Wallace improves upon Tyrells’ genetic engineering and memory implantation methods to make replicants obedient and controllable.
Prohibition is repealed. Wallace reintroduces a new line of “perfected” Replicants — The Nexus 9.
The LAPD commits additional resources to bolster its existing Blade Runner unit, tasked with locating illegal Replicants and retiring them.
When we return to Los Angeles, 30 years after the original movie, climate change has caused the sea level to rise dramatically. A massive Sea Wall has been built along the Sepulveda Pass to protect the Los Angeles basin. Los Aneles is even more uninhabitable than before and filled with poverty and sickness. Humans, who were not well enough to leave for the off-world colonies are left behind. There is no fresh food, and inhabitants survive on Wallace’s genetically modified food products sold from vending machines at street markets.