Richard Morgan’s 2002 award-winning cyberpunk noir sci-fi novel Altered Carbon is heading to Netflix as a TV series with a 10-episode order. The futuristic drama will be created, penned and executive-produced by Laeta Kalogridis, whose various producing and writing credits include Avatar, Shutter Island, Terminator Genesis and the upcoming Alita: Battle Angel.
The story is set in the 25th century, in a dystopian world where the human mind has been digitized and the soul can be transferred from one body to the next (those bodies are called sleeves). Takeshi Kovacs is a former elite interstellar warrior called an Envoy who's been imprisoned for 500 years. Downloaded into the sort of future he tried his very darn best to stop, if he gets to solve one single murder (remember, we're in a world where death is nearly obsolete thanks to technology) he’ll get a chance at a new life on Earth.
Kalogridis acquired the rights to Altered Carbon, a passion project of hers, as well as the other books in the “Takeshi Kovacs” series, four years ago. She had written a screenplay on spec with David H. Goodman (who is not available to work on the show) that they tried to sell for years as a movie, until Netflix picked it up as a TV series. Here’s what Kalogradis said about the book:
“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.”
Netflix has been producing a lot of genre series lately, including Daredevil, Jessica Jones and the more mediocre Sense8. On their upcoming roster is the second season of Daredevil (March 18), Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Defenders and a possible The Punisher series.
What do you think about Richard Morgan’s novel Altered Carbon being ordered to series at Netflix?