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This very expensive new Netflix show could turn into a monster hit

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Mike Rampton
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This very expensive new Netflix show could turn into a monster hit

Netflix have loooooooads of money, and they’re not afraid to spend it ostentatiously. Upcoming show Altered Carbon is rumoured to cost up to $7,000,000 per episode, which is LOADS. Like, that’s more than Game of Thrones cost when it started (it costs more than that now, due to ballooning salaries and stuff, but it also makes loads of dosh). 

Based on the 2002 book by British author Richard K. Morgan, the show stars Joel Kinnaman, best known as Rick Flag in Suicide Squad and Robocop in the entirely unnecessary but not terrible remake. 

Kinnaman has described Altered Carbon as “intelligent sci-fi”, and “something that’s never been done before”, adding that when he read the script he started drooling. If you actually picture that, it’s sort of gross (“Hi, I’m Joel, and if your script is good it better come with a bib!”), but it’s all meant very positively.

The production has been kept largely under wraps, filming in a massive Canadian studio and releasing very little in the way of info other than that there’ll be ten episodes initially and it’ll be out in 2018. But now, a super-secret Reddit user has leaked images - GIFs, no less - of the show’s world. The Redditor’s username, ‘lastenvoy’, is a reference to the book - Envoys are soldiers trained to withstand all kinds of hideous mental and physical torture. 

A first look at Altered Carbon, Netflix's big-ass upcoming sci-fi show 2
A first look at Altered Carbon, Netflix's big-ass upcoming sci-fi show 3

The world looks pretty rad, all neon and Blade Runner-y, with that ‘future-knackered’ vibe that’s always fun, complete with futuristic hard-boiled sounding terms like ‘skin jobs’. 

The book is the first of a trilogy following Takeshi Kovacs, a gangster turned Envoy supersoldier turned mercenary in a dystopian future where people’s personalities can be downloaded and passed from body to body. 

If the show really takes off, it’s not necessarily great news for Joel Kinnaman - Kovacs is in a different body in each of the books, so he could easily end up as the Sean Bean/Mark Addy of it, done and dusted before the giant fun contract renegotiations. He’s probably doing just fine - weep not for Joel Kinnaman - but yeah.

A first look at Altered Carbon, Netflix's big-ass upcoming sci-fi show 1

Altered Carbon is coming to Netflix in 2018, which makes sense, because that’s in the future, right?

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Mike Rampton

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