Neon Dystopia Reacts to Altered Carbon Trailer

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Richard K. Morgan’s 2002 novel Altered Carbon was the defining cyberpunk novel of the 2000s. Now it appears that 2018’s defining cyberpunk television series is going to be based on the important novel. We’ve been excited about the prospects of this series since it was announced for a number of reasons, the source material is fantastic, Netflix has done a good job of adapting cyberpunk properties, and every tidbit that has leaked out of the crew’s tight seal has been encouraging. Check out the first trailer below.

The trailer opens with an advertisement for ‘sleeves,’ or the genetically grown replacement bodies that have enabled immortality in the Altered Carbon universe, from the corporation Psychasec. These images are interspersed with the reality of these sleeves where we see the show’s protagonist Takeshi Kovacs, played by Joel Kinnaman, awakening from their Matrix-style, plastic packaged slumber. If this isn’t a veiled commentary on the dehumanization of the individual in a consumeristic society, I don’t know what is. This also illustrates well the disregard with which the body is treated when it becomes a mere vessel. This is only driven home more by Psychasec’s slogan, “Live forever in the body you deserve.” This kind of language reinforces the separation of economic classes and is a driving theme in the novel itself. Who gets to decide what body someone ‘deserves’? The person with the money is the timeless answer.

We then see some fantastic shots of the futuristic cyberpunk city. The Bay Bridge, of what is formerly San Fransisco, has been populated by what appears to be a shanty town, further reinforcing the class divide that exists within this world. This is then juxtaposed by the neon-lit streets, soon to be filled with carnage. The soldiers that we see have a distinctly modern vision of the cyberpunk aesthetic, which is very welcome and is contrasted with the obviously Blade Runner inspired streets, which is also welcome.

This isn’t Joel Kinnaman’s first foray into cyberpunk either, his first entrance into the cyberpunk canon was through the ill-received Robocop remake. This isn’t to say that Kinnaman’s acting was flawed, I would argue to the contrary, but rather that the film did not live up as a whole to the spirit of the original. We are excited to see Kinnaman in this new role as cyberpunk hero Takeshi Kovacs. Altered Carbon is slated for release on February 2nd, 2018. What do you think? Let us know down below, or on social media.

If you’d like to read Richard K. Morgan’s original novel before the show arrives, you can get a copy here.

Also, check out the load of pictures dropped over at EW:


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