In 2048, Sapper went to Los Angeles to sell some of the Nematodes he had collected at a market. On his way, he was briefly harassed by some thugs but ignored them before meeting with a young homeless girl named Ella, who he was friendly with. Greeting her mother, he gave Ella a copy of the book The Power and the Glory, which he had enjoyed.
He then went to a stall, where the vendor would only buy his stock for $3000, $1000 less than he needed. Leaving the stall disappointed, he noticed the thugs from before trying to sexually assault Ella and her mother. Going into a rage, Sapper mercilessly beat up the thugs, killing some of them. Realizing what he had just done, Sapper quickly gathered his things and ran. In his haste, he forgot his identification papers, which a man who had been spying on him picked up. The man then went to the phone to report he found a "skinjob."
Sapper had soup on the stove and was at work when he noticed K's spinner arrive. Knowing his time was up, Sapper calmly went into his home where he washed his hands as K watched. K learned a little about Sapper, who would only claim to be a farmer and offered K some garlic.
K offered Sapper the option to surrender peacefully, but Sapper grabbed a scalpel from a medical pouch on his belt and attacked K, sending him crashing through a wall and attempting to crush his neck, but the younger and more advanced replicant quickly incapacitated him before confirming Sapper's identity. Sapper managed to get up as K was retrieving his gun, and angrily called out K for killing his own kind. K claimed this was because the newer models did not run, but Sapper, thinking back to Deckard's child, replied that the truth was replicants like K had "never seen a miracle." He took a step forward before K retired him with two shots to the chest.
Behind the scenes
A character named Sapper Morton appears in the short story "The Shape of the Final Dog" written in 2012 by Hampton Fancher. Fancher was a writer for both Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049. In the story, a man named Kard goes to a farm where Sapper is working and waits in his kitchen for him. The scene plays out like it does in the movie with small differences. Items like the piano and the pot boiling on the stove are used in the story as well.
Between Blade Runner Black Out 2022 and Blade Runner 2049, Sapper is given different incept dates and serial numbers. 2022 gives his serial number as NK680514 and his incept date as March 22, 2019. This is inconsistent with the Road to 2049 timeline, which states that the Nexus-8 line was not manufactured until 2020. (In similar fashion, the incept date of fellow Nexus-8 replicant Iggy Cygnus is reported as Sept. 30, 2019 by the animated short.) 2049 gives Sapper's serial number as N8PSD32974 and his incept date as July 15, 2020, which are more consistent with the timeline.
The role was played by Dave Bautista, who was initially rejected because he was too young, as the character was envisioned as having the appearance of a 60-year-old. However, Denis Villeneuve requested makeup artist Donald Mowat to age his appearance with stretch and stipple latex makeup. When the desired effect was achieved, Bautista was cast.