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Before Denis Villeneuve’s blockbuster sequel “Blade Runner 2049” was turning heads, a few lesser-known short films were already building on its predecessor’s grim sci-fi universe.

In early 2017, Villeneuve selected directors Shinichiro Watanabe and Luke Scott (son of original “Blade Runner” director Ridley Scott) to create three shorts that would interpret the events that took place during the 30-year-gap between “Blade Runner” (set in 2019) and this year’s reboot. The resulting films — “Blade Runner Black Out 2022,” “2036: Nexus Dawn” and “2048: Nowhere to Run” — serve as prequels that provide additional context to “Blade Runner 2049.”

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