Jared Leto Stars in This Chilling Prequel for Blade Runner 2049, a Perfect Ad for the New Film

Gorgeous, atmospheric work from Ridley Scott's agency 3AM

Headshot of Kristina Monllos

How do you get audiences interested in a new film without pumping out trailer after trailer? If you don’t, they might not know about the film. But if you do, you’ll likely give away more and more of the film’s detail, leaving little to the imagination, and ultimately make audiences less likely to actually go to the theater.

This gorgeous new short film, Nexus: 2036, is over six minutes long and serves as the perfect way to establish the atmosphere and tone of the next Blade Runner installment. While Warner Brothers is certainly using trailers to entice the audience, this short, which stars Jared Leto and introduces his character in Blade Runner 2049, takes a franchise that has been dormant for the past 30 years and fills in some of the gaps between the two films.

This spot, from Ridley Scott’s content marketing agency 3AM, was shot in Budapest during principal photography for Blade Runner 2049 and was directed by Luke Scott.

Alison Temple, managing partner at 3AM, explained that it is crucial for the shop to collaborate with directors in preproduction and to work within the film’s production schedule. That way the shop is able to give audiences something special in terms of marketing that has the same production value as the film it’s touting. 

“We’re playing in a director’s sandbox,” said Temple. “Instead of an idea being pitched through a third party through the studio, we develop it with the filmmaker and all of the people they have assembled for this movie. We do it with the director’s vision but with a marketing twist. You could have the greatest marketing idea in the world, and you pitch it to a director while they’re making a movie and … it doesn’t work.”

The team at 3AM came up with the concept for the short and then worked with Michael Green, who co-wrote the screenplay for the movie, to come up with a script for Nexus: 2036. Unlike efforts 3AM has done for films like The Martian (IBM) and Alien: Covenant (Audi), no brands were involved with this short.

Temple said: “We want to make marketing fun. We know people are making a financial investment when going to see a movie. While everybody loves trailers, and we love trailers, we think this is another level to marketing.”

@KristinaMonllos kristina.monllos@adweek.com Kristina Monllos is a senior editor for Adweek.