Blade Runner Movies in Order & How Many Are There?

Blade Runner is an American neo-noir sci-fi media franchise, originally released in the form of the 1968 novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”. The book was adapted into the movie Blade Runner in 1982 and became the best dystopian sci-fi movie of all time. The movie did not succeed commercially, but it gained a cult following as time passed. Blade Runner greatly influenced the science-fiction genre we know today and procured more content and adaptations to other media.

The original film is set in the dystopian future of Los Angeles in 2019, where synthetic humans known as replicants are bio-engineered by the Tyrell Corporation so the humans can go and work on space colonies. This cult movie procured more projects that stem across all media, but for the sake of the article, we will focus on the movies and short movies which are quite relevant to the Blade Runner story. We won’t include books, video games, and TV shows – we are leaving them for the next article.

How many Blade Runner movies are out there?

If we include the short movies relevant to the Blade Runner universe, there are two featured films released in 1982 and 2017 and three short movies released shortly after Blade Runner 2049.

There are five movies in total in the Blade Runner franchise, and we can expect more Blade Runner projects in the future that we will discuss later.

What is the best way to watch Blade Runner movies?

The best way for you to watch the Blade Runners movies is definitely in chronological order. After the release of the first movie in 1982, usual fighting over movie rights, or in this case, the licensing disputes over Phillip K. Dicks’s 1968 novel, stood in the way of a sequel of the original Blade Runner.

Thankfully, Alcon Entertainment purchased the rights to start the movie’s development. However, they were prohibited from remaking the original movie and were only allowed to film prequels and sequels. Denis Villeneuve took on the project after the first choice Christopher Nolan, refused, and Blade Runner 2049 was “born” in 2017.

After the sequel’s release, the Blade Runner content started flooding in, and three short movies were released the same year as a bridge between the original Blade Runner and 2049.

So yes, the best way to watch the Blade Runner movies is to follow the chronological order.

Blade Runner movies in order (at glance)

We established that five films had been released today, and their legacy is still strong in the science-fiction genre. The huge gap between the first and second Blade Runner movie was quite noticeable initially, but the short movies released shortly after Blade Runner 2049 filled that gap really well.

This next list is the watch order in chronological order at a glance:

  1. Blade Runner: Final Cut (1982, 2007)
  2. Blade Runner Black Out 2022 (2017) – short film
  3. 2036: Nexus Dawn (2017) – short film
  4. 2048: Nowhere to Run (2017) – short film
  5. Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

We will mention some details of the movies without spoilers and each movie’s critical and commercial success. Furthermore, we will mention where you can watch the Blade Runner movies, future projects, and abstracts of each movie lore. If you are interested, buckle up, and stay with us until the end.

Blade Runner movies in order (chronologicaly)

1. Blade Runner: Final Cut (1982, 2007)

Blade Runner Movies in Order & How Many Are There?

Without a doubt, Blade Runner is the best science-fiction movie of all time. Most fans will agree that the movie from 1982 changed the way science-fiction movies were made and inspired the genre’s future.

Synopsis: The Blade Runner storyline is set in the dystopian future of Los Angeles, where towering skyscrapers are covering the city, and mega corporations are ruling the United States of America. The movie’s story follows Rick Deckard, who gets out of retirement to stop four rogue Nexus-6 replicants.

The rogues stole a spaceship and illegally entered the Earth to find their creator, Dr. Eldon Tyrell, who could prolong their lives further – the replicants can only live four years. The story escalates from there, and Deckard must balance his duty as a “blade runner” and understand the other side’s perspective.

Ridley Scott directed Blade Runner, and Hampton Fancher and David Peoples were the writers for the movie. The cast included then-popular Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, and Edward James Cosmos.

Surprisingly, Blader Runner was not successful commercially, but the fans and Ridley Scott’s peers praised the cast’s setting, direction, and acting.

Blade Runner became a standard for future science-fiction movies and inspired projects like Total Recall, Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly, and many more. Blade Runner inspired and kickstarted the cyberpunk genre that we know today.

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We added the Final Cut of Blade Runner because Ridley Scott released the full movie without any cuts he had to bestow during the 1982 production. It is no secret that Ridley Scott’s original Blade Runner suffered commercial failure because of those cuts by the studio.

Seven known versions of Blade Runner are all released, but the Final Cut truly brings us the movie in its full glory.

2. Blade Runner Black Out 2022 (2017) – short anime film

Blade Runner Movies in Order & How Many Are There?

After the development hell, 35 years later, we finally got a new Blader Runner. This particular short film was released after Blade Runner 2049 and was the first of three short films that served as the bridge between the first and second Blade Runner.

Blade Runner Black Out 2022 is a tech-noir cyberpunk anime that Shinichiro Watanabe directed, also known as the creator of the famous anime Cowboy Bepop. He was also featured as a writer for this fifteen-minute movie set three years after the original.

This time, the Tyrell Corporation developed the new Nexus-8 line of replicants, which now possess the same lifespan as humans. Of course, in true human fashion, they start attacking the replicants, fearing them taking over the Earth.

We won’t spoil anything since the anime says it all much better and truly sets the bridge between the original Blade Runner and 2049.

3. 2036: Nexus Dawn (2017) – short film

Blade Runner Movies in Order & How Many Are There?

Direct continuation of the previous entry on this list, 2036: Nexus Dawn was released the same year and is set thirteen years before the featured movie Blade Runner 2049.

The short film was directed by Luke Scott, Ridley Scott’s son, and written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green. The cast consists of Jared Leto and Benedict Wong. The story follows the story of Wallace’s meeting with lawmakers and his attempts to convince them to allow the production of the new line of replicants.

2036: Nexus Dawn is the second short film of the trilogy that serves as a bridge between the original Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049. The film was released just five weeks before Blade Runner 2049.

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4. 2048: Nowhere to Run (2017) – short film

Blade Runner Movies in Order & How Many Are There?

The final and third installment of the short film trilogy prequels, 2048: Nowhere to Run, is a neo-noir sci-fi short film that was released just three weeks before the release of Blader Runner 2049.

The film is a direct continuation of the previous prequel, 2036: Nexus Dawn, and is set only a year before the timeline of the featured movie.

Once more, the short film director is Luke Scott, with Michael Green and Hampton Fancher, who returned as writers, and the cast this time included Dave Bautista and Gerard Miller.

As we already mentioned, the film is set a year before the featured movie, Blade Runner 2049. It tells the story of Morton protecting the mother and the daughter from the thugs, leading to him being reported as a replicant.

5. Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

Blade Runner Movies in Order & How Many Are There?

Finally, we got the last installment of the movie franchise. The prequels presented us with what we could expect from the movie, and it was so much more.

Denis Villeneuve directed the movie, and Hampton Fancher and Michael Green returned as the writers. The cast was full of great actors, including Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford, who reprised his role as Rick Deckard, Ana de Armas, and Sylvia Hoeks.

Synopsis: Blade Runner 2049 continues the story thirty years after the events of Blade Runner (1982); a new Blade Runner, LAPD Officer “K,” unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K also discovers the quest where he needs to find Rick Deckard, a former LAPD Blade Runner, who has been missing for thirty years.

The movie was a commercial and critical success, earning over $250 million at the box office and gaining praise universally, apart from the movie’s length.

Blade Runner 2049 is one of the best sequels today, and the movie’s success presented us with the possibility of new Blade Runner projects.

Where to watch Blade Runner movies?

Blade Runner 2049 is one of the best sequels today, and the movie’s success presented us with the possibility of new Blade Runner projects.

Fans can watch Blade Runner featured movies on HBO Max streaming platforms, and Blade Runner 2049 is also available on Netflix. You can watch the short films on YouTube – here is the playlist. The Blade Runner Black Out 2022 short anime can be found on Crunchyroll.

Do you need to watch Blade Runner movies in order?

If you want to experience the Blade Runner magic in full force, you should watch the movies in chronological order. The reason is that the creators and executives of the Blade Runner franchise made an effort to film those movies and short films and include it in the franchise’s canon.

You could probably get away with not watching the short films, but to fully experience the Blade Runner worldbuilding, we recommend our watch order.

Blade Runner Movies in Order & How Many Are There?

Are Blade Runner movies connected?

All of the Blade Runner content discussed in this article is fully connected. Even the TV series and movies we did not include on this list have connections to the main Blade Runner lore, enriching the movies even more.

All the storylines are connected in some way, and we even see the characters from the short films and original movies featured in Blade Runner 2049.

Will there be more Blade Runner movies?

When the movie The Martian was created and released by Ridley Scott, the director of the original Blade Runner talked about the future Blade Runner movies. He expressed an interest in making new movies.

Ridley Scott confirmed, once again, that he has another story ready to evolve and be developed in 2018.

Of course, besides the movies, the TV shows Blade Runner: Black Lotus, released in 2021, is being streamed on HBO Max and is expecting a new season in 2023.

Another huge Blade Runner project comes from the live-action TV show Blade Runner 2099. The series will be an Amazon Prime Video Exclusive, and the original writer Green and the director himself, Ridley Scott, will be executives of the show and Scott will likely direct some episodes.

Plenty of Blade Runner projects are coming our way, and we cannot wait. While you wait, check out our chronological watch order.

  • Dora is an avid sports fan who started taking interest in TV and movies while attending University of Osijek. Characters, storylines and cinematography is something she started analysing very intensely, which made her respect the art of TV and movies more.