Somebody gimme a “Whoa!” Netflix's cyberpunk sci-fi series Altered Carbon powered up its second season on Thursday, February 27 with eight episodes of star-crossed love, kung-fu fighting, Quellist uprisings, planetary conspiracies, Elder orbitals, and body-swapping galore.
Now that we've all been cast into the sophomore season, with the Avengers' Anthony Mackie rockin' a wicked new combat sleeve as Takeshi Kovacs investigating the murder of founders on Harlan's World, we're already thirsting for Altered Carbon Season 3. So when that might be and what plot advancements might be worth exploring?
Let's take the speculative plunge and unpack the details before more Angelfire rains down or your cortical stack frags! Here’s everything we know about Altered Carbon Season 3, from plot to release date — with plenty of speculation to fill in the blanks.
Is there an Altered Carbon Season 3 release date?
Though there's been no official announcement from Netflix regarding a greenlight for Altered Carbon Season 3, we're anticipating a big thumbs-up from the streaming titan with the positive response on this satisfying new season. Netflix first declared its Season 2 renewal in July 2018, five months after its premiere in February of 2018, so expect a similar wait time if there's going to be a third outing.
Altered Carbon films in Vancouver, British Columbia and surrounding exterior locations, so with an average filming time of 6-8 months, and the previous two year gap between seasons, we'd expect to see Altered Carbon Season 3 sometime in early 2022. Much depends on actors' availability and scheduling so we'll keep you posted once we hear solid intel. There's always a chance word could come sooner of its renewal, but plan on learning answers by this coming summer.
When will the first Altered Carbon Season 3 trailer release?
The short answer here is one year from now. Going by the official marketing plan for Season 2, fans were given a quick casting glimpse and production tease in February of 2019, 12 months after the unspooling of all ten Season 1 episodes. So we're sticking to early 2021 as to when we'd be uploading data on the next season, but miracles do happen and it could be earlier. With a show as ambitious as Altered Carbon, it takes time to properly craft. Patience will be rewarded!
Will Altered Carbon Season 3 reboot the show like Season 2?
Showrunner Alison Schapker has gone on record stating there are plans for a multi-season arc for the series and recalled that Season 2 had already been mapped out by creator Laeta Kalogridis when she was hired as co-showrunner in July 2018. By introducing a new iteration of Kovacs each season, the goal would be to follow the natural path of an anthology-type show, with each outing taking place on a different planet in the Settled Worlds. These would likely follow a defined continuity with a new detective story and new sleeve along that journey.
With Season 2 taking elements from British author Richard K. Morgan's second and third books in the Altered Carbon trilogy — Broken Furies and Woken Angels — the series is free to explore any number of Kovacs' exploits from the past, present, or future.
Who’s in the cast of Altered Carbon Season 3? Who died in Season 2?
As was the case with Joel Kinnaman's exit after the first season, Anthony Mackie will probably not return if the showrunners and writers follow the same pattern of resleeving each season to bring new dimensions to Kovacs' odyssey. Mackie did an exceptional job bringing fury and intensity to the role, but he'll likely not reprise his gig in Season 3 except for potential flashbacks.
Ivan Carrera and Danica Harlan are gone. However, Will Yun Lee as Kovacs' birth sleeve should be back in some incarnation, as would Chris Conner as Edgar Allan Poe, Renée Elise Goldsberry as Quellcrist Falconer, Simone Missick as bounty hunter Trepp, and Dina Shihabi as Dig 301.
Who will play Takeshi Kovacs in Altered Carbon Season 3?
No casting choices have been offered or hinted at right now. Who would you love to see in the role? Would you be game for another torch song-singing gender swap?
How many episodes will there be in Altered Carbon Season 3?
Ten episodes for the first season felt right, considering all the worldbuilding and narrative heavy lifting the show had to present to viewers unfamiliar with the Altered Carbon novels. Season 2 contained eight chapters and the pacing seemed more organic with little padding. We'd like to continue the eight episode structure, especially if it means we'll get a new season even sooner!
Besides the centuries-spanning romance between Kovacs and Quell, here are five plot lines Altered Carbon Season 3 must explore
5. Poe Digs Miss Dig
Charming Archaeologue A.I. Dig 301 (Dina Shihabi) was a refreshing companion for Poe (Chris Conner) as he struggled with his deteriorating glitchiness in the aftermath of being reduced to nano-dust in Season 1. Miss Dig was one of the unemployed digital archaeologists tasked with investigating Elder artifacts discovered on Harlan's World when the first colony ships arrived centuries ago. Shihabi brought an innocence and empathy to the Altered Carbon realm and we'd love to see her continued interactions with Poe as he recovers from his hard reboot. Plus, you have to admit… they do make a delightful digital couple!
Conner continues to impress with his touching performance playing the evolving AI and sidekick to Kovacs as they galavant across the universe together. Showing his amazing range, Season 2 allowed Conner to stretch his acting legs and imbue the artificial intelligence with added depth as he struggles with the very real human affliction of memory loss and dementia.
4. Will Ryker ever resurface?
Admit it, as much as we love a jacked Mackie as Kovacs, actor Joel Kinnaman brought a different brand of bravado to The Last Envoy that we retain a nostalgic longing for. Though it's been thirty years since Kovacs left the sleeve and disgraced cop Elias Ryker was pardoned for the crimes he was framed for, we miss Kinnaman's brooding presence and silent stoicism.
We learned in Season 2 that Kovacs paid to have Ortega's family resurrected in new sleeves, so we'd love to revisit Ortega and a reformed Ryker to see if they lived happily ever after, picking out bedroom furniture from some 24th century IKEA for their love nest. Maybe they had a child together and he/she is now a Protectorate official or needlecasting cop. OR a cloned Ryker sleeve (using Bancroft's billions) could team up with a new Kovacs to form the most formidable duo in the galaxy. Don't scoff, it could happen!
3. On the road with Kovacs and Poe?
In Season 2 Episode 2, Kovacs mentioned that during the past three decades since he left Ryker's sleeve, he’d visited 42 planets and inhabited countless sleeves on myriad missions with Poe. Any one of these adventures could serve as a compelling solo episode while adding to the series' overall mythology. Another consideration would be to use the entire Season 3 as a sort of prequel offering spanning those thirty years featuring different guest Kovacs for each world.
2. More Elder exploration
When Quell controlled one of the weaponized Elder satellites to call down Angelfire, it revealed an empathic connection between the Elder civilization and the Songspire trees’ ability to record consciousness. Season 2 provided much more about Elder tech, the offspring roost, and their genocide in the alloy mine shaft at the hands of Konrad Harlan to secure his planetary charter.
Archaeologues learned that the militant Elders were at war with another race, but that foe’s identity was a mystery. As further Elder artifacts are activated, we’ll no doubt learn more about this aggressive avian species as looming secrets manifest down the road in Season 3.
And yes, we did finally get to see one of the demonic winged creatures before it invaded Jaeger/Colonel Carrera’s stack to enact its explosive revenge using the array of orbital platforms. It wasn’t pretty to say the least.
1. Better get the good whiskey ready!
Yep, it seems the raw human DHF Poe stored before his hard reboot is identified as our legendary Envoy by the newly named Annabel Lee, AKA Miss Dig, so Kovacs Prime will be back in action in a new sleeve in two years, inhabiting the same universe as his younger self.
What can I do to scratch my Altered Carbon itch until 2022?
Dynamite Entertainment released an original graphic novel last year written by Richard K. Morgan titled Altered Carbon: Download Blues. Morgan revisits his cyberpunk roots in this standalone story set within the Altered Carbon universe and its cast of complex characters. This 128-page hardbound book is co-written by Rik Hoskin (White Sand, Red Rising) and contains artwork by Ferran Sellares (Grimm Fairy Tales). It's the perfect way to go beyond the novels and the TV series to get another dose of Kovacs and Co. in their far-future world until 2022 arrives.