A series of GIFs allegedly connected to Netflix’s Altered Carbon have emerged online, and if they are genuine, the images offer a neon-infused hint of what the series will look like. It has been a while since any news regarding the streaming services’ ambitious adaptation of the cyberpunk novel from Richard K. Morgan was released, despite the series being set to premiere sometime next year, and while there’s no official confirmation from Netflix as of yet, the GIFs look as though the show will build off of the aesthetic set in place by Ridley Scott’s original Blade Runner and seen again in all its Roger Deakins-filmed glory in Denis Villeneuve’s superb sequel, Blade Runner 2049.
The story of Altered Carbon takes place several hundred years in the future where human consciousness can be downloaded into new bodies, giving people a chance at much longer lives and, with enough money, immortality. The series stars Joel Kinnaman as an ex-soldier whose consciousness is downloaded into the body of Bay City police officer, after being tasked with uncovering a vast conspiracy. Given Kinnaman’s rolls in the disappointing RoboCop remake, as well as AMC’s soggy adaptation of The Killing, the actor is well suited to dive into this hardboiled cyberpunk narrative.
And while the images alleged to be from the series don’t feature any shots of Kinnman, they do present a possible glimpse at the gritty world his character will inhabit. The posts come from Reddit (via io9), where the user references Bay City (the setting of Altered Carbon), which doesn’t really lend them any credibility, but as far as getting fans excited for what this series could be, they certainly do the trick. Check them out below:
On one hand, the images immediately convey the idea of cyberpunk that’s been a part of popular culture for decades. The mix of crowded griminess and technological advancement makes for a distinct aesthetic that is as inescapable as the ubiquitous noodle shops and Asian influences that dominate the look and feel of the subgenre. Though not specifically a dystopian novel, Altered Carbon presents a world that’s not far from it, and from the look of things here, that is what the images are going for.
Morgan’s novel was the recipient of the 2003 Philip K. Dick Best Novel Award, meaning it likely has a strong fan base and the sort of distinction within the genre of science fiction to make this reportedly very expensive series worth Netflix’s while. With Altered Carbon, Deadpool director Tim Miller on board a potential feature film adaptation of William Gibson’s Neuromancer, and Cyberpunk 2077 coming from The Witcher game studio CD Projekt Red all on the way, it seems like cyberpunk is coming back into fashion. If these images are the real deal, then it Altered Carbon may be set to pave the way.
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