Netflix is bringing back sci-fi series Altered Carbon, with some big changes.
First, Avengers: Infinity War actor Anthony Mackie is taking over as the show’s lead character Takeshi Kovacs. Mackie is stepping in for Joel Kinnaman who played the character during the show’s debut season earlier this year.
In addition, Alison Schapker (Lost, Fringe) is joining the series as co-showrunner and will also serve as an executive producer. Season 1 boss Laeta Kalogridis will also return as co-showrunner and executive producer.
The show’s debut season was considered a dazzling-looking drama with some stunning set pieces that sometimes struggled under the weight of its own ambitions. The show also received some criticism for having a white actor play an Asian lead character. In the futuristic world of Altered Carbon, based on Richard K. Morgan’s novel, human consciousness can be put into different body “sleeves,” with Kovacs waking after hundreds of years into a different body. This innovation also makes it rather easy to have different actors play the same character.
As Netflix puts it: “The journey of Takeshi Kovacs spans hundreds of years, many different bodies, and planets. This allows the story to explore themes of identity, mortality, and the human soul. In this new season, Anthony Mackie will be the new embodiment of Kovacs, as the series continues to expand on these deeper themes and ideas across longer periods of times and different worlds throughout the universe.”
The renewal of Carbon had been held up for a bit, hinging on finding an ideal new lead. Mackie is a big score for the production, having broken out in Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker and as Tupac Shakur in Notorious, and now playing Sam Wilson/The Falcon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.