Netflix Picks Up Futuristic Sci-Fi Series ‘Altered Carbon’ Based on Book

Altered Carbon Netflix
Courtesy of Del Rey

Netflix has picked up a 10-episode series, “Altered Carbon,” based on the 2002 book of the same name, Variety has learned.

The sci-fi series hails from Skydance Television with Laeta Kalogridis writing, exec producing and serving as showrunner. Kalogridis co-wrote the screenplays for Leonardo DiCaprio’s “Shutter Island,” plus “Terminator Genisys” and she’s attached to the sequel for the latter.

Based on Richard K. Morgan’s novel, “Altered Carbon” is set in the 25th century. In the futuristic story, the human mind has been digitized and the soul is transferable from one body to the next. Takeshi Kovacs, a former elite interstellar warrior known as an Envoy who has been imprisoned for 500 years, is downloaded into a future he had tried to stop. If he can solve a single murder in a world where technology has made death nearly obsolete, he’ll get a chance at a new life on Earth.

Along with Kalogridis, Skydance’s David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Marcy Ross will also serve as exec producers.

“Altered Carbon” marks a growing slate of Netflix’s dramatic programming, following the psychological thriller “Gypsy.” However, exemplifying the company’s diverse content, Norman Lear’s “One Day At A Time” recently landed a modernized, Latino-twisted reboot at Netflix, which also just ordered a comedy centering around YouTube character Miranda Sings.

The straight-to-series order for “Altered Carbon” gives weight to Netflix boss Ted Sarandos’ recent statements, regarding the streaming giant’s spending plan for this year — at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif. this past weekend, Sarandos said that Netflix would spend about $6 billion on content this year, encompassing original series and movies and acquisitions.

No launch date for “Altered Carbon” has been set.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 15

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Cato Walked Barefoot says:

    Order the book now. Read it. Start running and when you get close, hop on this Hype Train. We are few but we are beyond hyped. No words can describe the potential for this show. Also, if you support it we may get Broken Angels as future seasons for the show. That is the best of the three books by far and will need a huge budget. You can a part of the smug book reader club who will laugh at the plebs who discovered the books because of Netflix. Oh, then go read the Culture series by Ian Banks. Then find the novella “Sailing to Byzantium”–Hollywood needs to discover that Robert Silberberg masterpiece and option it…along with his sublime “House of Bones.”

  2. Hannah says:

    AT LAST !!!!! One of the greatest writer’s great books. PLEASE don’t screw it up.

  3. I’ve been waiting for this since the first day I started reading the book. I would have hoped for a movie but with the way things are going these days 10 episodes on Netflix will probably turn out much better than a big budget movie that refuses to take the risk of staying true to the book(s).

  4. Les Peterson says:

    This description is incorrect. Kovacs has not been imprisoned for 500 years. He has been put into storage, but was shortly after released at the request of one of Earth’s “Methuselah’s”. 500 years would have been before the development of cloning, storage, space exploration, and needle casting.

  5. Darwin says:

    At last! I hope they don’t screw this up, because this is one of my all-time favorite book trilogies.

  6. Therion Ware says:

    Should be interesting, not least for the depiction of Head in the Clouds, and the corporate machine Controlling the commonwealth. Sounds like the Envoy Corps has been downplayed and Kovacs motivations given a less self-interested emphasis.Hope they don’t completely wreck it and go on to make The Fuller Memorandum!

  7. Eric raschka says:

    I hope this synopsis is inaccurate. One of the best sci-if books of all time IMHO and if they change whole underlying premis, it is really going to change the feel and tone of this series and especially if they continue into books 2-3. Takeshi Kovacs is a former solider renegade criminal who has downloaded into multiple bodies during in time with the Envoys. He is a cold blooded killer and sort of badass spy. He isn’t a bleeding heart character from 500 years ago who is going into a future he was trying to stop. He is pulled out of prison storage to Earth for the first time, to solve a mysterious murder of a 350 year old super rich “meth”. I hope they don’t veare too far from the book. It is a great plot as is and would make a great scifi crime/mystery drama. I’ll probably watch for sure, but I love the books, so I can already tell I’m going to hate he show!! Lol

  8. Katrina McIntosh says:

    I don’t think the book is based in the 25th Century! However Takeshi the main character in the book was not imprisoned for 500 years at all. He was born on another planet and the book is based on when he comes to Earth and has to solve a murder. The book is amazing, and Netflix have made some amazing series in recent years so hopefully they do the book justice. It is one of the best that i have read in years.

  9. Silas says:

    “the soul is transferable from one body to the next”

    What can a science fiction novel have to say about souls? Has the author found a way to characterize them in scientifically intelligible language?

    And why is anyone hiring a genisys screenwriter?

    • Charles Farley says:

      You should read the book to find out, but saying “the soul is transferable” is mischaracterising the process. It’s transferal of consciousness, which the book explores as a concept. Souls are discussed as such, in the context of the intersection between the re-sleeving technology and religion. It’s a fascinating discussion which touches on what it means to be human, and whether your body is relevant once it largely becomes a disposable consumer good.

  10. Ryan White says:

    Great trilogy of books. Can’t wait.

    • Cato Walked Barefoot says:

      CAN you imagine Broken Angels!!! If done correctly this could be the show that replaces GOT on the cultural coffee table

  11. is leonardo dicaprio an executive producer on this?

More TV News from Variety