Cyberpunk is arguably one of the most interesting genres to explore in the entertainment industry.
When we think about science fiction and imagine the endless possibilities of technological advancements with the impact that could have in the future, our knee-jerk reaction is probably to picture something super cool. Like levitating cars, robots, and artificial intelligence from Doctor Who, Bicentennial Man and the Marvel movies (hello Tony Stark’s ultra-advanced computer systems).
What we don’t do, and probably intentionally avoid, is think about how these scientific achievements might actually harm society. That’s where cyberpunk comes in to throw all of that out with the concept of a dystopian future. One with all the high tech we love in science fiction with the undesirable setting of a messy social system. Think Love, Death & Robots, Westworld, Mr. Robot, and of course, Altered Carbon.
When Altered Carbon premiered on Netflix in February 2018, it received generally high ratings, with particular praise on the show’s visuals and the actor’s performances. In fact, it was nominated for several visual effects awards and even won the accolade for Outstanding Visual Effects in an Episode, Commercial, or Real-Time Project at the 17th Visual Effects Society Awards.
All the positive reviews for Altered Carbon’s first season has certainly set the bar high in terms of expectations for the second season. So, with that in mind, let’s look into everything we need to know to prepare us for season two!
The Release Date of Altered Carbon season 2
After two years of waiting, and after that amazing in-production cast announcement Netflix released, we thought it best to address the most burning question first: “When are we finally getting season 2?”
Thankfully, the answer to that is: very soon.
More specifically, Netflix is dropping all eight episodes of Altered Carbon season 2 on the platform on Thursday, February 27, 2020.
And in case you haven’t seen it yet, check out the trailer below:
Here’s an additional piece of interesting tidbit as well!
Back in November 2018, Netflix announced that it would also be debuting an anime spinoff of the series titled Altered Carbon: Resleeved. The anime would be set in the same universe but, according to Deadline, “explore new elements of the story mythology”.
Netflix partnered with the animation studio Anima, with the feature to be written by Dai Sato and Tsukasa Kondo, and directed by Jo Nakajima. Though there’s no exact date yet, the Altered Carbon anime is scheduled for release in Spring 2020.
In a world where humans are able to transfer their consciousness not just between bodies but between planets, there’s a whole galaxy of narratives to explore. Season 1 retained a lot of the significant plot points from the book of the same name on which it was based, but the studio also took many creative liberties with characters and organizations.
At the end of Season 1, we see the show’s protagonist Takeshi Kovacs return his current body – what is referred to on the series as “sleeves” – to Elias Ryker, the original owner. He also finds out that the woman he loves, Quellcrist Flaconer, is still alive (or at least, her consciousness is). This is particularly important because apart from being tasked to solve Bancroft’s murder, he’s also on a quest to find Quell.
In season 2, the latter continues to be the central point of the story. Here’s the official synopsis for the Netflix drama:
It seems to us like there’s a big revelation looming on the horizon that centers on Quell and who she really is.
Creator Laeta Kalogridis discussed Altered Carbon season 2 with Entertainment Weekly and revealed that bringing the character of Quell into the series early changed how they were planning to build the story moving forward.
When asked if the second season would follow the second novel in the series, Kalogridis said that she and the novel’s author Richard K. Morgan tried to “hammer out a story that was able to use elements of the second book without creating the vastness that is the second book.”
That doesn’t give us a whole lot of details, but it certainly piles on the intrigue!
New and returning cast members
In both the cast announcement and the official trailer, we saw a couple of old faces alongside a slew of new ones as well.
Renée Elise Goldsberry (Hamilton, One Life to Live) will be returning to reprise her role as the mysterious Quell. While she only appeared in Kovacs’ flashbacks and hallucinations in season 1, she’s set to play a more in-person role in the second season.
Chris Conner (American Crime Story) will also be returning as the highly-evolved AI Poe. Yes, likened after Edgar Allan Poe. Conners received praise for his performance in the first season, so it will definitely be great to see him as Kovacs’ trusty companion again.
Will Yun Lee (The Good Doctor) will also be returning but in a recurring role.
Of the new cast members, the most notable is Anthony Mackie (Black Mirror, the Avengers franchise) as the newly resleeved Takeshi Kovacs. And the trailer does a great job of showing how he’s the perfect fit for the role.
Joining him are Simone Missick (Luke Cage) as Trepp the bounty hunter. Dina Shihabi (Jack Ryan) as Dig 301 the A.I who assists archaeologists. Torben Liebrecht as Col. Ivan Carrera, who is on the hunt for Kovacs. James Saito (Always Be My Maybe) as Tanaseda Hideki, a Yakuza boss on Kovacs’ home planet. And Lela Loren (Power) as Danica Harlan, the governor of Harlan’s World.
Of course, there’s no telling where the story with take us – in season two and in the (hopefully) future seasons! But that’s the joy of having a show with shifting cast members and storylines. So don’t forget to put Altered Carbon season two on your Netflix must-watch list, and binge it all on February 27!