Androids and transferrable consciousness are only the beginning in Netflix’s upcoming Altered Carbon. Based on Richard K. Morgan’s 2002 cyberpunk novel of the same name, Altered Carbon got its first full-length trailer and an official premiere date on Monday.
Here’s the official synopsis from Netflix:
The series follows Envoy soldier Takeshi Kovacs (Joel Kinnaman), who is brought back to life centuries later to investigate the attempted murder of Laurens Bancroft (James Purefoy), the wealthiest man on Earth. As the investigation progresses, Kovacs comes to learn that his past isn’t nearly as buried as he thought.
Morgan’s Altered Carbon takes place 500 years into the future in a world where humanity has reached beyond Earth and settled several plants outside our own galaxy. The United Nations Protectorate oversees these planets. One of them, Harlan’s World, is a planet settled by a Japanese keiretsu (a kind of informal business group); that’s where Takeshi Kovacs, an elite former United Nations soldier, resides. He’s our hero. But he, like other soldiers in his world, has to deal with the effects of transferring from one sleeve to another on the regular.
Now, sleeves are the shrink-wrapped bodies you’re seeing in this trailer. They’re empty android bodies that are waiting for a human consciousness to power them. Kovacs’s latest sleeve will be portrayed by Joel Kinnaman, probably best known for his role as Rick Flag in Suicide Squad.
The trailer flashes back and forth between the beauty of PsychaSec-made sleeves and the trauma it seems people go through (maybe Kovacs and the other soldiers) when they’re transferred into a new body. Then the trailer jumps to a neon-hued sequence of slow-motion action shots, spaceships flying through clouds, naked bodies, and dirty, damp city streets featuring flickering advertisements.
“The danger of living too many times: you forget to fear death,” Kovacs says.
There’s no telling exactly how closely the plot of Netflix’s show will follow Morgan’s original novel — the closest on-screen approximation for the series seems to be Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982). The Asian influence of Scott’s rain-soaked world seems to be present in Altered Carbon. But fans will have to wait and see just how closely they resemble each other.
Altered Carbon premieres on Netflix on February 2, 2018.