Anthony Mackie (Captain America, Detroit) has been cast as the lead Takeshi Kovacs, a role originated by Joel Kinnaman in Season 1. Behind the scenes, Alison Schapker is joining the series as executive producer and will serve as co-showrunner alongside creator/executive producer Laeta Kalogridis who was showrunner on Season 1 of the Skydance TV-produced series.
The recasting of the Takeshi Kovacs role was expected. In the world of Altered Carbon, which is based on the science fiction novels by Richard K. Morgan, the journey of Takeshi Kovacs spans hundreds of years, many different bodies, and planets.
Because of the structure of the books, each taking place in a different time frame at a different location, Kinnaman, as well as the majority of the cast, had one-year deals. Kinnaman already has booked his next series, Amazon’s Hanna.
Mackie will be the new embodiment of Kovacs, as the series continues to delve into the themes of identity, mortality, and the human soul across longer periods of times and different worlds throughout the universe.
Netflix would not reveal if any of the Season 1 cast members would return for Season 2. In an interview at the release of the first season, Kalogridis had indicated that Poe (Chris Conner) and Kovacs’ deadly sister Reileen (Dichen Lachman) might be seen again, despite their characters being killed off.
Altered Carbon is set centuries into the future when the human mind has been digitized and the soul itself is transferable from one body to the next. Takeshi Kovacs, a former elite interstellar warrior known as an Envoy who has been imprisoned for 500 years, is downloaded into a future he’d tried to stop.
Kalogridis executive produces with Schapker as well as David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Marcy Ross via Skydance. James Middleton also returns as an executive producer.
Mackie is a member of the Marvel Comics family, playing the role of Sam Wilson/The Falcon in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War” and most recently Avengers: Infinity War.
He will next be seen in The Hate U Give and the remake of Miss Bala alongside Gina Rodriguez.