Netflix has announced that they will develop a 10-episode series based on Altered Carbon, the 2002 dystopian cyberpunk novel by Richard K. Morgan.
Laeta Kalogridis (Birds of Prey, Terminator: Genisys) will write and executive produce for Skydance Television. Skydance’s David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Marcy Ross will also serve as executive producers. Kalogridis will also serve as showrunner.
The story takes place in the 25th century, where it’s possible for the human soul to be digitized and transferred from body to body through technology. Takeshi Kovacs, imprisoned for five hundred years, is a former elite interstellar warrior known as an Envoy, and he’s given a chance for a new life when he’s hired to investigate a murder.
Wealthy “Meth” — referring to the wealthy who can transfer from body to body indefinitely, and thus live like Methuselah — Laurens Bancroft, after apparently committing suicide, is brought back to life through a backup copy, only he doesn’t remember the last 48 hours of his life. He thinks he was murdered.
The book won the Philip K. Dick award for Best Novel of 2003, and is part of a series acquired by Kalogridis and her Mythology Entertainment partners Brad Fischer and James Vanderbilt.
“Altered Carbon is one of the most seminal pieces of post-cyberpunk hard science fiction out there — a dark, complex noir story that challenges our ideas of what it means to be human when all information becomes encodable, including the human mind,” Kalogridis said when they had acquired the rights to the series.
Back in 2009, V for Vendetta director James McTeigue had been pursuing the story for adaptation, telling /Film that he hoped to make a movie version with producer Joel Silver.
At the recent Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, CA, Netflix exec Ted Sarandos said that the network would spend upwards of $6 billion on content, including original series along with movies and acquisitions.
There’s no release date for Altered Carbon at this time, nor is there word whether or not Netflix plans to adapt the other books in the series.