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Norfolk author's delight that Netflix announces second season for Altered Carbon

PUBLISHED: 15:07 03 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:10 03 August 2018

Author Richard Morgan.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Author Richard Morgan. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

The Norfolk author behind the sci-fi body swap novel Altered Carbon that became a huge Netflix hit has spoken of his delight his second book in the series will also be adapted for the small screen.

Altered Carbon season one.
Image: NetflixAltered Carbon season one. Image: Netflix

Netflix confirmed the new season via the Altered Carbon Twitter feed @AltCarb, saying: “New season. New sleeve. #AlteredCarbon has been renewed for Season 2.”

Richard Morgan, who penned the original series of novels and grew up in Hethersett, said: “I am delighted. I was over in LA at the end of last year for [talks about] season two, so it was on the cards, but until the time you get the green light you never quite know.”

Set in the 25th century, when human personalities can be stored digitally and downloaded into new bodies known as “sleeves”, the original Altered Carbon novel - and the first season of the Netflix show - is about anti-hero Takeshi Kovacs, a former elite soldier contracted by a billionaire to discover who murdered his last body.

The second book Broken Angels - which is expected to inspire season two of the Netflix series - takes place 50 years later and sees Kovacs in a new sleeve and serving as a mercenary in a planetary war.

Altered Carbon season one.
Image: NetflixAltered Carbon season one. Image: Netflix

In keeping with Kovacs being given a new sleeve, a new actor has been cast to play him, with The Hurt Locker and Million Dollar Baby actor Anthony Mackie taking over from Joel Kinnaman.

“I am thrilled that they are going with the premise of the book in the sense that they have a different actor playing Kovacs and the world where it takes place will be different,” said Mr Morgan.

“I am looking forward to there being a different face and body [for Kovacs] and seeing how they still carry through the continuity.

“It’s like Doctor Who really. You have got a continuous character but it is a different actor and it is about what the actor does to maintain the continuity and put their stamp on it.”

He said the Netflix adaptation would probably be a looser adaptation this time because the sheer scale of planetary war in Broken Angels would cost a huge amount to recreate on screen.

“The themes are there, the characters are there, a lot of the structure of the book is there, but obviously it will have to change significantly because you would probably need about US $400m to do a completely accurate version of the book,” he said, adding the adaptation was in good hands with a “team of a-list talent involved in making the show.

Meanwhile Mr Morgan is busy with many other projects, including a new book called Thin Air, and the creation of a new Kovacs story which will take the form of a graphic novel with Dynamite Comics.

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