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Blade Runner anime announces full cast – and brings back a 2049 character

Blade Runner Black Lotus anime
(Image credit: Adult Swim/Crunchyroll)

The full cast for Blade Runner anime Black Lotus has been announced.

As revealed by Adult Swim and Crunchyroll, the cast is led by Jessica Henwick. The Matrix 4 and Iron Fist actor is set to play Elle a "female replicant created for a secret and unknown purpose."

She’ll be joined by Joseph, voiced by Will Yun Lee. Orange is the New Black’s Samara Wiley will play an LAPD recruit named Alani Davis.

Succession’s Brian Cox is one of the show’s biggest names. He will play Niander Wallace Sr – Niander Wallace Jr. also shows up, played by Wes Bentley.

And the talent keeps on coming. Character actor Stephen Root is Earl Grant, the LAPD chief. Cobra Kai actor Peyton List plays his wife, Josephine. Jupiter’s Legacy actor Josh Duhamel will voice a Blade Runner called Marlowe.

Rounding out the Blade Runner Black Lotus cast is Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips), Gregg Henry (The Killing), and Henry Czerny (Mission: Impossible) as Doc Badger, Senator Bannister, and Doctor M respectively.

Black Lotus is "inspired" by the Blade Runner series – but it’s unclear just how much of it actually fits into canon at this stage.

The anime takes place in 2032, 13 years after the events of the original Blade Runner and 17 years before Blade Runner 2049. As you may have seen from the cast list, one 2049 character makes a return.

Niander Wallace Jr., played by Jared Leto in the Denis Villenueve-directed sequel, will appear alongside his father – who is conspicuously absent from Blade Runner 2049. Hopefully, we’ll find out more about the backstory of one of Blade Runner’s most mysterious characters.

Blade Runner: Black Lotus is set to premiere later in 2021. We’ll find out even more about the show – and hopefully a release date – during its ComicCon@Home panel on July 23 at 8pm Eastern.

The world of anime, meanwhile, continues to expand into some of entertainment’s biggest franchises. Netflix's The Witcher is getting an animated movie prequel, Nightmare of the Wolf, based around Geralt’s mentor, Vesemir.

For more of the medium’s biggest hits, check out our guide to Demon Slayer season 2, as well as a look at the potential Attack on Titan season 4 return date

Bradley Russell

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.