Interview with actress Jessica Henwick, producers and directors of “Bladerunner: Black Lotus” on Adult Swim by Suzanne 9/21/21
This is a great animated series that premieres November 13 on Adult Swim (Cartoon Network). I don’t watch much anime, but I loved the “Bladerunner” movies, and this is as good as the original movie (if not better). The way the people move is very realistic – not at all like a regular animated show. The two directors, who are Japanese, were translated by the producers in this TCA panel.
Blade Runner: Black Lotus
Jason DeMarco (SVP, Anime/Action WarnerMedia), Shinji Aramaki (Co-Director), Kenji Kamiyama (Co-Director), Joseph Chou (Producer), Andrew Kosove (Producer)and Jessica Henwick (Voice of Elle)
2021 Virtual Tour Los Angeles, CA September 21, 2021
© 2021 Adult Swim. All rights reserved.
Actress Jessica Henwick told us that she didn’t know much about her character when she started. She preferred to learn about her as they recorded her lines. They made them in chronological order. She also praised the lighting and cinematography as “stunning.” Later, she spoke about how well the show fits into the “Bladerunner” universe because it asks the same fundamental questions about what it is to be human or alive, and what separates humans from replicants as well as humans from animals. She approached playing Elle like you would play a child, since she is child-like when she first awakens. She said that she “has to figure out her limits and what she thinks is okay and what her moral compass is in the same way that we all have to as we’re all growing up.”
The show is set in 2032, between the two films, Andrew Kosove of Alcon told us. They own the rights to the whole franchise, so it was very important to them to keep the series in tune with the source material and to make fans happy. He mentioned that there are many Easter eggs for fans in the series. Joseph Chou, translating from the directors, asserted that they based the show’s visual style in part on the movies while also making it look distinctly for that time period and because it’s anime. Kosove praised the four filmmakers involved with the movies and this series, saying that we have “the vision of different filmmakers because you have the ability both to honor what’s been done before, but to bring something new and to build on what has occurred previously and be fresh and original.”
They told us that the animation was full CG and they used motion capture. Because they were using actors who spoke English, they did the motion capture first and then did the recordings later (because of the pandemic).
Kosove hinted that there may be some interactive elements to the series later on (perhaps a video game based on it) and that there will be some announcements coming up about that. They were asked whether video games were their biggest competition, but he said that they couldn’t possibly compete with videogames. They just focus on doing this great series. Jason DeMarco answered that all of them (meaning TV networks) are competing with videogames and streaming networks as well as everything else because we all only have so many hours in the day for entertainment. He thinks that their show is good enough that people should stop playing videogames and spend their half an hour per week to watch it. He would also love a “Bladerunner: Black Lotus” videogame because he’s a fan and nerd himself, but he thinks the show lives up to the quality of the movies.
Chou spoke about the animation. They did it to look partly realistic and partly animated. They used CG rather than 2D because they thought the lighting would look better. The lighting and atmosphere are created to give it that “Bladerunner” look. It took them a while to get it exactly the way they wanted.
Don’t miss this series, especially if you’re a fan of scifi or animation. The story is really good, and the rest is phenomenal.
Based on the Blade Runner franchise, comes the highly anticipated new anime series Blade Runner: Black Lotus. The newest edition of the franchise follows a young woman who wakes up in Los Angeles, the year is 2032, she has no memories and possessing deadly skills. The only clues to her mystery are a locked data device and a tattoo of a black lotus. Putting together the pieces, she must hunt down the people responsible for her brutal and bloody past to find the truth of her lost identity. Join directors Shinji Aramaki and Kenji Kamiyama, Jason DeMarco (senior vice president, anime and action series/longform at Warner Bros. Animation/Adult Swim) alongside voice starts Jessica Henwick* (voice of Elle), Samira Wiley* (voice of Alani Davis) and Wes Bentley* (voice of Niander Wallace Jr.) as they discuss bringing the series to life and explore the Blade Runner universe. Set to premiere later this year on Adult Swim and Crunchyroll, the series is produced by Alcon Entertainment and animation studio Sola Digital Arts.
Proofread and Edited by Brenda