The Netflix adaptation of Richard K. Morgan's cyberpunk novel Altered Carbon is receiving a second season of eight episodes. But when he returns, he will have a new actor playing the lead role of Takeshi Kovacs. Joel Kinnaman will be replaced by Anthony Mackie, currently best known for playing Falcon in the Captain America and Avengers Marvel Movies Cinematic Universe.
Altered Carbon is established centuries in the future, in a world where humanity has overcome mortality through a technology that allows human consciousness to be transferred from a body (or "manga", in the language slang) to another, assuming the customer can pay it. The first season of the show is a grim neo-noir thriller that follows an ex-soldier named Takeshi Kovacs when he is hired to solve the murder of a prominent Earth billionaire, Laurens Bancroft, who apparently committed suicide. The season, a bloody and violent affair, completely enveloped the events of Morgan's 2002 novel.
In the novel, Kovacs (played by Will Yun Lee in his original body) inhabits the body of a disgraced police officer (played by Joel Kinnaman), and leave the Earth and that body at the end of the story once their mission is finished. Due to the change of identity of Kovacs, there was some confusion about whether the program would return for a second season, and if it did, if Kinnaman would return, he did not rule it out. Laeta Kalogridis, creator of season 1, will return as showrunner, and will join Alison Schapker ( Lost, Fringe, Almost Human ) as co-showrunner and executive producer.
Netflix has not indicated which path will take season 2, but the recast suggests that the program could address the next book in the trilogy, Broken Angels, to some extent. That novel takes place three decades later, with Kovacs as a member of a mercenary team fighting in a corporate war on a planet called Sanction IV. He is recruited to secure a buried alien artifact, a point argued provoked in the first season.
If that's the case, viewers should expect some big changes to the program. Where Altered Carbon was a cyberpunk neo-noir story that focused on the consequences of wealth inequality, Broken Angels is a very different book that moves towards military science fiction and the space opera. The third novel, Awakened Furies delves into Kovac's past.