Everything We Know About 'Altered Carbon' Season 2

altered carbon season 2
Anthony Mackie takes over | Marilla Sicilia/Archivio Marilla Sicilia/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images
Anthony Mackie takes over | Marilla Sicilia/Archivio Marilla Sicilia/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

This story contains spoilers from Altered Carbon Season 1.

With Altered Carbon, an adaptation of Richard K. Morgan's 2002 novel, showrunner Laeta Kalogridis delivered an ambitious series that alternated between gripping intrigue, heart-racing action, and unbridled horniness. Perhaps to make up for some of its earlier sci-fi movieduds, Netflix finally landed a big-swing title that felt worthwhile.

The only downside, of course, being that in the age of bingeing, AC's appeal meant it was gone as fast as it arrived, prompting many viewers, including us, to ask: Will there be more? Read on for everything we know about the future of Altered Carbon so far -- a compendium we'll update as more info becomes available.

altered carbon on netflix

When will Altered Carbon Season 2 be released?

Netflix officially renewed the series for a second season in July. Production for Season 2 was underway in Feb. 2019, so we can probably expect an early 2020 release date at the earliest. 


How many seasons of Altered Carbon will there be?

It's unclear, but Richard K. Morgan, the author of the Altered Carbon books and a consultant on the show, told The Guardian in Feb. 2018 that the show will run for five seasons should everything go to plan. However, there's been no official word from Netflix as to whether or not the series has even been renewed for a third season. Given that Altered Carbon wasn't picked up for a second season until months after its premiere, it's unlikely that we'll know anything about the show's future any time soon. All that being said, Netflix has an anime movie in the works titled Altered Carbon: Resleeved that's set to explore different parts of the universe's mythology than the live-action series.

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The cast announcement for&nbsp;<em>Altered Carbon</em> Season 2.

Who is in the Season 2 cast of Altered Carbon

Altered Carbon takes place in a sci-fi future where humans avoid death by uploading their consciousness into new “sleeves,” or biological bodies. Sleeves don’t always correspond to the body a person was born into; minds can be uploaded into sleeves of different ages, genders, or races. This kicks the door open for all sorts of re-casting possibilities in future seasons, something already put into effect for Season 2, with the re-casting of lead character Takeshi Kovacs, who was played by Joel Kinnaman in Season 1 but will be played by Anthony Mackie when the series returns. (Kinnaman was only signed for one year and announced his departure in February 2018.)

Netflix announced a slew of other cast members via a casting announcement video. Returning for Season 2 are Renée Elise Goldsberry as Quellcrist Falconer and Chris Conner as Poe. Joining the cast alongside Mackie are Simone Missick (Luke Cage) as Trepp, an expert bounty hunter; Dina Shihabi (Daredevil) as Dig 301, an archeological A.I.; Torben Liebrecht (Operation Finale) as Colonel Ivan Carrera, a Protectorate Special Forces unit leader on the hunt for Takeshi; and James Saito (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) as Tanaseda Hideki, a yakuza boss on Harlan's World. Variety also reported that Lela Loren (Power) will join the cast as Danica Harlan, the charismatic governor of Harlan's World.

That's the only confirmed casting information thus far, but it seems reasonable to expect that we'll see more of Laurens Bancroft, the wealthy, mysterious character central to Altered Carbon's mythology. Bancroft was played by James Purefoy in Season 1, but it's unclear if he'll be back as the character. It's also possible that Will Yun Lee, who plays Kovacs' original body, will return in flashbacks. The same goes for Reileen (Dichen Lachman), who showrunner Laeta Kalogridis told EW could potentially return later down the line, but only in flashbacks. "We could see Reileen at another point in her life," Kalogridis said. "But that version of Reileen who faced off against her brother at the Head in the Clouds is gone."

altered carbon on netflix

What will Season 2 look like? 

We've got some guesses! But just as the first season wasn't an entirely faithful adaptation of Morgan's novel, the second would likely be another loose adaptation. Next in Morgan's Kovacs series is Broken Angels, the synopsis of which teases what could be a much bigger, completely different show: "Cynical, quick-on-the-trigger Takeshi Kovacs, the ex-UN envoy turned private eye, has changed careers, and bodies, once more... trading sleuthing for soldiering as a warrior-for-hire, and helping a far-flung planet's government put down a bloody revolution.”

Broken Angels is set 30 years after the events of the first book, and finds Kovacs working for a mercenary organization called Carrera’s Wedge. He’s tasked with searching for a Martian artifact that can open a portal to another dimension. If Season 2 follows the book, expect things to get even weirder than they were the first time around.

According to Kalogridis, the intent for Season 2 is to get out of Bay City and onto different planets. She hopes to dig into needlecasting, or the ability to engage in faster-than-light travel via conscious projecting and downloading. "That's just too cool not to do something with," Kalogridis said.

altered carbon on netflix

How much of the books would Season 2 follow?

As Kalogridis (who will be joined by Scandal’s Alison Schapker as co-showrunner for Season 2) has acknowledged, the second book was written like a "$300 million, two-hour feature," which means big changes would be in order to make Season 2 small-screen-and-serialized-friendly. The ball is already rolling to make that happen: Kalogridis told Entertainment Weekly that the author of the book series, Richard K Morgan, worked with the show's writers to work out a story that drew elements from the second book.

Still, that process "creates some challenges, just purely from a perspective of how in the world do we accomplish the spirit of what’s in that story? Which I’m very interested in, an examination of this technology in relation to war," Kalogridis told Indiewire. "Because it’s very much an examination of class, in the first season, and I think war would be very interesting to examine and that's what the [second] book does. But exactly how we would do it and who we would do it with? I know it wouldn’t be as huge as the book, because it couldn't be."

But! "Richard and I have a plan," Schapker reassured Entertainment Weekly. "I don't know how people will feel about the plan, but we do have one!"

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