In a nutshell: If you have not watched the first season of the Netflix Original Altered Carbon, now is the time. The dystopian cyberpunk thriller is worth the binge, and Season 2 is coming next month.
Two years ago, we reported on a strange booth that was set up at CES 2018 by a company called Psychasec. The company claimed to manufacture full-body replacements for humans, prototypes of which were on display.
Of course, the company was fake, and the booth was simply a promotion to generate hype for Netflix's upcoming (at the time) series Altered Carbon. The show debuted on February 2, just weeks later. The following July, Netflix announced it had renewed the series. Then silence for two years, until now. Season 2 will be available on February 27.
Joel Kinnaman portrayed lead character, Takeshi Kovacs, in the first season. Kovacs is returning but Kinnaman is not. The character will instead be played by Anthony Mackie this time. The switch in lead actors is quickly dismissed and will surely be explained off by the body-replacement premise of the show.
Warning: Spoilers ahead.
In Richard K. Morgan's novels, the original Kovacs (played by Will Yun Lee in flashbacks) lives for hundreds of years by switching bodies when one dies (usually killed violently in his case). It would be unsurprising to see this role recast every season.
According to the lore of the series, in 2384, people can have their consciousness transferred into synthetic bodies via physical memory discs called "stacks." Referred to as "sleeves," these replacements are manufactured by Psychasec, of course, and allow folks to have the body they've always dreamed of without the exercise or plastic surgery. However, the mind can also be moved into another human. For the very rich (called Meths), sleeves are usually clones of themselves.
Kinnaman's secondary role is a character named Elias Ryker. Ryker was a police detective before serving as a host for Kovacs' stack and had his own sub-plot during Season 1. It is unclear if Mackie's character will have a similar secondary story. It is likely though, since people will want to know where this sleeve came from.
There is no trailer yet, only the teaser that producers tweeted Tuesday morning (above). However, there will likely be a more substantial taste in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can play catch up if you have a Netflix subscription, something I highly recommend since it has been two years since Season 1 aired.