The trailer introduces the novel’s central McGuffin: in Morgan’s version of the future, people can digitally copy their memories and personalities into a “cortical stack” and implant them in a new body, called a sleeve. The process allows people (usually the rich and famous) to avoid death by jumping from body to body. Last week, Netflix began teasing the show with a couple of in-universe teasers for Psychasec, the company responsible for “sleeving” people.
In Morgan’s novel, a dead soldier named Takeshi Kovacs (Suicide Squad’s Joel Kinnaman), is brought back to life centuries after his mind was imprisoned “on ice.” Earth’s wealthiest man, Laurens Bancroft (James Purefoy) hires him for an unusual task: someone murdered Bancroft’s previous body, and the new version wants Kovacs to track down the killer. As he takes on the case, Kovacs begins to realize that his own past might be relevant. The novel was followed by two sequels, Broken Angels and Woken Furies, which gives Netflix plenty of options for future seasons.
The trailer offers up some glimpses of the novel’s cyberpunk world: there’s plenty of neon lighting, some action, and Kinnaman explaining, “The danger of living too many times: you forget to fear death.”
Altered Carbon begins streaming on Netflix on February 2nd, 2018.