The futuristic world in Netflix’s new sci-fi series Altered Carbon was built from scratch in the Pacific Northwest.
The cast spent eight months shooting on location in Vancouver, BC.
"We had one set that was three football fields deep,” said star Joel Kinnaman. “400 or 500 extras were milling around, it was a complete living, breathing city with noodle shops and construction workers and police officers… you just stepped into it and you didn't have to imagine anything."
He stars as Takeshi Kovacs, a former elite soldier employed to solve a murder.
But in Altered Carbon’s future, wealthy people don't have to die. Consciousness is uploaded, and when a body gives out, you get a new one - referred to as a "sleeve."
Acting like a detective was familiar to Kinnaman - he played one in the Seattle-based hit show The Killing.
"I've watched episodes of The Killing too many times for it to actually not be embarrassing,” laughed castmate Will Yun Lee. “I felt like I knew him."
That might have come in handy for the production of Altered Carbon because Lee and Kinnaman play the same character, inhabiting different bodies during different times in history.
That storyline is at the crux of the show - would you live forever, if you could?
"I think it would be hard to say no to,” said co-star Renée Elise Goldsberry. “In theory, we have the lofty answer, and I think the right answer is 'no.' The problem is, when everybody's doing something...”
Actor James Purefoy is more direct in his assessment.
"I would like immortality, but just for me. I don't want to share it,” he said. “There are too many bad people in the world. The trouble is, imagine if the really bad people in the world were able to live forever."
Audiences can now ponder the question themselves – all ten episodes of Altered Carbon are streaming on Netflix.
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