When Netflix first began pumping out original programming, the big draw was it didn't cancel shows. One could commit to a first season without worrying if the rug would be pulled out from under the fandom. Since mid-2017, that's changed. Though Netflix now cancels shows, it still has a significant leg up on most broadcast in choosing to greenlight or cancel. Shows which have potential can take long breaks between seasons to retool, like last year's Altered Carbon. Now, fans are starting to ask: When does Altered Carbon Season 2 premiere? It probably won't be for a while yet, but the show has gone into production for the next installment.
Altered Carbon was always a bit of a problematic adaptation to pull off. The original novels are about a world where human consciousness has been reformatted to download on a disc-shaped "cortical stack." One's "stack" can then be "resleeved" into a different body. The main character, Takeshi Kovacs, is of Japanese descent, sleeved into a white man's body. The show attempted to adapt this by casting Joel Kinnaman as the Kovacs sleeve, and Will Yun Lee as the Kovacs the character sees in his mind's eye.
In the novels, Kovacs has a lot of emotional and mental issues with body dysmorphia, as he mentally sees himself to be a completely different person than the one he's inhabiting. The show didn't bother addressing this, leading to reviewers accusing the show of whitewashing the character.
Season 1 ended with Kovacs announcing he was giving up the Kinnaman sleeve so it could be reunited with the original stack, and live out his life in peace. The show made it seem like this was a generous gesture, but in reality, Kovacs is happy to be rid of it.
In the second book, Broken Angels, Kovacs is once again sleeved into a new body, thirty years in the future. This time, the show has cast Anthony Mackie, best known as Falcon from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as the new sleeve. Unlike the first story, Kovacs isn't working as a detective this time either, but as a mercenary as part of the organization Carrera's Wedge. He has been hired to put together a team to retrieve a mysterious Martian artifact which supposedly opens a portal to a distant starship.
It is unclear at this point if the second season will follow the books, but there is some hope, as Colonel Carrera, the head of the mercenary organization, is listed among the Season 2 characters.
However, there are serious changes afoot as well. For instance, Simone Missick, recently rescued from the now-defunct Netflix Marvelverse, will play Trepp. She was a character who was in the original Altered Carbon novel as a buddy of Kovacs, but the show reduced her to a nameless extra. She does not appear in the Broken Angels novel. Neither, for that matter, does Poe, the hotelier from the first season, and yet Chris Conner is back as the long-dead poet.
It will be interesting to see how showrunner Laeta Kalogridis has changed course from one season to the next. Altered Carbon Season 2 is in production now.