Netflix’s ALTERED CARBON has star, director

Netflix is really stepping up in terms of original content. They are the current home for the wonderful Craig Johnson based LONGMIRE, HOUSE OF CARDS and two strong Marvel series with more to come. Now all of that is fine and dandy, but this next bit of news may be what gets me to finally commit.

Netflix is developing Richard Morgan’s hard-boiled  cyberpunk novel ALTERED CARBON. Joel Kinnaman (THE KILLING, HOUSE OF CARDS) is set to star as Takeshi Kovacs, a soldier whose mind is put into a new body so he can be hired by the very rich Laurens Bancroft. In this future world, our minds can be backed up and put into new bodies. When Bancroft was killed, his saved mind was loaded into a new body. That mind was saved prior to the murder and he wants know: Who killed him?

In the twenty-fifth century, humankind has spread throughout the galaxy, monitored by the watchful eye of the U.N. While divisions in race, religion, and class still exist, advances in technology have redefined life itself. Now, assuming one can afford the expensive procedure, a person’s consciousness can be stored in a cortical stack at the base of the brain and easily downloaded into a new body (or “sleeve”) making death nothing more than a minor blip on a screen.

Ex-U.N. envoy Takeshi Kovacs has been killed before, but his last death was particularly painful. Dispatched one hundred eighty light-years from home, re-sleeved into a body in Bay City (formerly San Francisco, now with a rusted, dilapidated Golden Gate Bridge), Kovacs is thrown into the dark heart of a shady, far-reaching conspiracy that is vicious even by the standards of a society that treats “existence” as something that can be bought and sold. For Kovacs, the shell that blew a hole in his chest was only the beginning. . . .

The series comes from Laeta Kalogridis, who penned the screenplay of SHUTTER ISLAND and was a producer for AVATAR. The pilot is being directed by Miguel Sapochnik, whose resume includes GAME OF THRONES, TRUE DETECTIVE, MASTERS OF SEX and FRINGE. A ten episode first season has been ordered.

The book was recommended to me by the late Gary Schultz and I absolutely loved it. It is very much a hardboiled tale, but with the unlimited landscape that comes with the science fiction genre. Fans of BLADE RUNNER will almost certainly love AC.