'Altered Carbon' Featurette: 'Blade Runner' Meets 'The Matrix' In Netflix's New Sci-Fi World

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Netflix continues to expand their roster of original programmer, taking bigger and bigger risks. This time, they're trying to build their own sci-fi world in the vein of Blade Runner and The Matrix with a new series called Altered Carbon.

Set in the distant future, the story takes place in a world where human consciousness and minds can be transferred liked computer files, downloaded and re-uploaded into different bodies. Existence has become something that can be bought and sold. Even if you're killed, that doesn't necessarily mean your life is over. So when the wealthiest man on Earth is murdered, he returns to investigate his death, and he brings someone back from the past to help him.

Watch the Altered Carbon featurette below to learn more.

After Laurens Bancroft (James Purefoy), the richest man on the planet, is murdered, he brings back an ex-Envoy soldier named Takeshi Kovacs (Will Yun Lee) to help him investigate the murder. Kovacs was part of a group aiming to end the immortality that people have gained from being able to download and transfer minds into different bodies, and he ended up getting caught and preserved. It's 250 years later when he's woken up to help Bancroft, and he's given a whole new body in the form of Suicide Squad star Joel Kinnaman.

Altered Carbon is based on a best-selling book by Richard K. Morgan, and there's an entire series of books set in this world featuring many of the same characters. Having said that, the series is clearly taking cues from the visuals of iconic sci-fi movies that came before it. That's to be expected though, and it doesn't change the fact that the story is a compelling one.

However, there's something that feels a little odd about the fact that when Takeshi Kovacs is brought back to help Laurens Bancroft, it's no longer Will Yun Lee playing the character. Instead, the character's mind has been brought into the body of Joel Kinnaman. There's likely a narrative explanation for this, but replacing Will Yun Lee with Joel Kinnaman seems a little problematic for a variety of reasons. But we'll hold off to see how the story plays out before we make any judgment calls.

In the future, human minds are digitized and downloaded from body to body. Last night, the wealthiest man on Earth, Laurens Bancroft (James Purefoy) was murdered. To investigate his death, he brings back ex-Envoy soldier Takeshi Kovacs (Joel Kinnaman / Will Yun Lee) and in exchange, Bancroft offers Kovacs the chance to live again.

Altered Carbon debuts exclusively on Netflix on February 2, 2018.