altered carbon trailer

Altered Carbon imagines a world in which humans have achieved a form of immortality — for a price. In the Netflix’s costly adaptation of Richard K. Morgan‘s 2002 novel, Altered Carbon depicts the world 300 years in the future in which human consciousness can be uploaded into new bodies, allowing people (mainly the rich) to essentially live forever.

But the technology doesn’t come without its detractors. The world sees a rise in murders, which kicks off our central murder mystery. And who better to solve that murder mystery than Joel Kinnaman, that guy that you sorta, kinda remember from Suicide Squad?

Altered Carbon Trailer

What if Blade Runner, but sexier? That seems to be the premise of Altered Carbon, whose vaguely East Asian influences and the overwhelming use of neon recalls that of the landmark cyberbunk series. Like Blade RunnerAltered Carbon is presented as a neo-noir in which a weary soul faces a life-altering new mission. The series is a 10-episode mystery in which Kinnaman’s Takeshi Kovacs, a part-Japanese former soldier who happens to look very white, is hired to solve the murder of a wealthy man who has recently transferred to a new body.

The premise of transferring consciousness into android bodies is not wholly unfamiliar. There are shades of it in The Matrix and James Cameron’s Avatar, but the series that most directly uses this concept was the little-seen Joss Whedon show Dollhouse, whose second season presented a similar dystopia in which human bodies had become disposable shells for the rich to commander on a whim. It’s apt that former Dollhouse star Dichen Lachman will appear in Altered Carbon too. The cast for Altered Carbon is rounded out by James Purefoy, Renée Elise Goldsberry, and Leonardo Nam.

Altered Carbon is reported to be Netflix’s most expensive series yet, possibly beating out The Crown with an estimated cost of $6 to 7 million per episode. But this could be the start of something big — Takeshi Kovacs is the protagonist of several of Morgan’s sci-fi books and has accumulated quite a following among sci-fi book readers.

Here is the official synopsis for Altered Carbon:

Based on the classic cyberpunk noir novel by Richard K. Morgan, Altered Carbon is an intriguing story of murder, love, sex, and betrayal, set more than 300 years in the future. Society has been transformed by new technology: consciousness can be digitized; human bodies are interchangeable; death is no longer permanent. Takeshi Kovacs is the lone surviving soldier in a group of elite interstellar warriors who were defeated in an uprising against the new world order. His mind was imprisoned, “on ice”, for centuries until Laurens Bancroft, an impossibly wealthy, long-lived man, offers Kovacs the chance to live again. In exchange, Kovacs has to solve a murder … that of Bancroft himself.

Altered Carbon is adapted by writer-producer Laeta Kalogridis (Alita: Battle Angel) and director Miguel Sapochnik (of “Battle of the Bastards” fame from Game of Thrones). It’s set to debut on February 2, 2018 on Netflix.

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