Wallace's first move onto the world stage occurred after the Blackout brought the world into a state of crisis, with stock markets crashing and food shortages prevalent. He pioneered advancements into genetically modified food, essentially bringing an end to the global food crisis, ending his reclusiveness, and allowing his company to expand on Earth and onto off-world Colonies.
Three years later, the bankrupt Tyrell Corporation was bought out by the Wallace Corporation, indicating the desire to continue replicant development despite the prohibition of replicant technology after the Blackout.
By October 2032, Wallace created the replicant Elle as part of a plot to assassinate his father. He tattooed a black lotus onto Elle as she lay by a pool, acting as her lover. He entered into an arrangement with former Blade Runner Joseph to help ensure that Elle would be successful.
Wallace had failed to deliver on promises in developing memories, a fact which his father brought up during a game of Go. The game was then interrupted by a phone call informing the elder Wallace that Senator Arthur Bannister had been killed.
Later, Wallace and his father viewed news coverage on Bannister's death, with the younger Wallace noting that the Senator's death may complicate lifting the ban on replicant production. While his father noted his advancements in genetic proteins, he stated his concern that Wallace Jr. often lacked funding and power to accompany his innovations. The younger Wallace reflected upon his work, comparing it to that of a god.
Later, while he was alone, Wallace made moves on a Go board. He then received a call from his father, but proceeded to ignore it.
Finding that he had been locked out of his office, Wallace went to his father to inform him of such. The elder Wallace then revealed that he was intending to sell the company's assets from Tyrell, including the replicant division, wishing to distance the company from slayings caused by Elle, a replicant they created. Calmly, Wallace Jr. insisted that his replicants were flawless and that his father would soon come to realize this.
Later, Wallace visited his father again. He noted his father's worried state, learning that Elle had killed Doctor M and was now after him, despite the fact that she was supposed to be obedient. To this, the younger Wallace stated that obedient ones would often find their own way and embrace free will. In response to his father's belief that replicants always kill their creators, Wallace Jr. asked rhetorically how one could control nature, as replicants were seen as the next step in human evolution. As his father worried further, the younger Wallace pointed out that the situation was born from his father's own folly, as he had organized the doll hunt. He then compared his father's irresponsibility with power to Saturn eating his children. The elder Wallace then insisted if the public learned about the situation, Wallace Jr.'s reputation would be affected as well, so-called for the conflict to be brought to an end. Calmly, Wallace Jr. stated that it was already coming to an end. He made a play on the Go board, then bid his father farewell.
After his father was successfully killed by Elle, Wallace inherited the company, becoming its CEO.
As Wallace tattooed a water lily onto another replicant, Joseph called him, having learned that Wallace was behind her memory implants. When Wallace clarified that their arrangement was for his own benefit, Joseph asked what would happen next. Wallace commanded Joseph to retire Elle, as her purpose had been served.
As a public eulogy of his father was broadcast, Wallace reflected upon his newfound freedom since his father's death. He wished to continue his plans to create a perfect world, though noted he had loose ends to tie up. He soon heard from Joseph that Elle had been retired, to which Wallace announced that arrangements for Joseph to emigrate Off-world had been completed. After hanging up, however, Wallace expressed his distrust in Joseph, wishing to deal with him later. Noting that he could not have one of his own creations live on for its own glory, he gave Water Lily a sword, ordering her to eliminate Elle.
Wallace began to modify genetic engineering to produce replicants that were not only superior in strength and agility compared to their human creators, but also loyal beyond question, bred to obey. These Nexus-9 replicants were made legal after Wallace convinced the magistrates of Los Angeles in 2036 by showing them a completely obedient male Nexus-9.
In 2049, the remains of Rachael, a Nexus-7 replicant who had given birth, were discovered by the Nexus-9 Blade Runner, K, who visited the Wallace Corporation's headquarters in search of Rachael's identity.
Wallace himself wanted to discover the secret to reproduction in replicants in order to support interstellar colonization, and to this end he sent his replicant assistant, Luv, to steal Rachael's remains from the LAPD headquarters and follow K to find Rachael's child.
The pursuit of K led to the information that the child's father was former Blade Runner Rick Deckard, who was living in exile in Las Vegas. Luv and her men captured Deckard and brought him before Wallace, who offered him a clone of Rachael as a reward for revealing what he knew. When Deckard refuses, Wallace ordered Luv to escort Deckard off-world to be tortured for information.
K intercepted Deckard's captors and killed Luv but was mortally injured in the fight. Unbeknownst to Wallace, K then staged Deckard's death to protect him from both Wallace and the replicants.
Niander Wallace was an extremely sophisticated and perceptive individual, possessing an incredibly high intellect and a calm demeanor.
Despite all of his sophistication, Wallace was determined to accomplish his goals regardless of the cost. For example, when a new replicant was born, he silenced her and says cynically; "happy birthday," as she suffered. Wallace later tortured Deckard after he was brought before him, showing Deckard a clone of Rachael. He was also not a man who gave up easily, as he stated before Luv that the child of Rachael was the key for the future, not to the future of the humanity, but to the replicants, he willed to create. It could be shown how Luv was attempting to prove herself to her master by never giving up on accomplishing the task.
He had somewhat of a god complex, as he called the replicants he creates "angels," and stated that he was a father of millions.
Additionally, Wallace was shown to be a brilliant strategist, delegating and employing others, rather than getting his hands dirty. But despite his brilliance, he was frustrated by his inability to gift replicants the ability to reproduce naturally and was jealous of Tyrell's accomplishments achieving what he could not.
Behind the scenes
The role was originally written with musician and actor David Bowie in mind. Denis Villeneuve attempted to contact Bowie about the role just days prior to his death in January 2016. Villeneuve commented, "After that, I felt like David Bowie became my muse for this role, and I had to find someone with the same magnetism. I had to find a rock star."
Earlier versions of the script called for Wallace to have no eyes at all, only sockets, rather than simply being blind. For preparation, Leto worked with the Junior Blind of America and used Silicon Valley tech investors and inventors that he personally knew as examples of how Wallace would behave. During filming, he wore opaque contact lenses that made it impossible for him to see anything.
- Road to 2049 timeline
- Blade Runner: Black Lotus – "All the Best Memories"
- Blade Runner: Black Lotus – "All We Are Not"
- Blade Runner: Black Lotus – "The Human Condition"
- Blade Runner: Black Lotus – "Pressure"
- Blade Runner: Black Lotus – "Reality"
- Blade Runner: Black Lotus – "Free Will"
- Blade Runner: Black Lotus – "Clair de Lune"
- 2036: Nexus Dawn
- Blade Runner 2049
- The Art and Soul of Blade Runner 2049