Netflix is adding science fiction to its collection of new original programming with a 10-episode order of Altered Carbon. Laeta Kalogridis (Avatar, Shutter Island, Terminator Genesis) will executive produce and be the showrunner for the series based on the 2002 award winning cyber-punk novel of the same name by Richard Morgan.
In the Altered Carbon universe, by the 25th century, the human mind and soul can be digitized and uploaded and downloaded, rendering death as we know it obsolete. The main character, Takeshi Kovacs, is a former member of a group of elite warriors known as the Envoys but has spent the past 500 years in prison and is dropped into a future he had endeavored to prevent. Kovacs finds himself faced with a murder which, if he can solve, just might give him second chance at life.
Kalogridis has been working on this project for several years now. The producer got the rights to Altered Carbon and the other books in the series four years ago. Along with David H. Goodman, Kalogridis wrote a screenplay based on the novel and tried for years to sell it and turn a dream into reality but to no avail until Netflix picked up the project. Of course, now instead of being a feature film, the script will be adapted for television, and Goodman will not be working on the series.
After she initially earned the rights to the books, Deadline reports Kalogridis said, “Altered Carbon is one of the most seminal pieces of post-cyberpunk hard science fiction out there — a dark, complex noir story that challenges our ideas of what it means to be human when all information becomes encodable, including the human mind.”
No news has been released about the casting, but finding a lead actor could potentially prove difficult. In the books, Kovacs does not just stay in one body but jumps around as his mind and soul is downloaded several times. A current series that has successfully recast the main character multiple times is Doctor Who, but at least there are several seasons between each incarnation. But until more details are released, we can only eagerly anticipate what lies in store for Netflix and how they will adapt the books for television.