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One of the unique features of Netflix’s Altered Carbon is the shifting identity of its main character Takeshi Kovacs. Based on Richard Morgan’s 2002 novel, the show took viewers into a crazy and cool cyberpunk world where consciousness can be transferred to different bodies. This meant that while Kovacs was played by Joel Kinnaman in the first season, Anthony Mackie took over in season 2.
That trend looks set to continue, too, as we’re hearing that the next actor lined up for Kovacs is Deadpool 2 and Joker star Zazie Beetz. She hasn’t signed on just yet, but according to sources close to WGTC – the same ones who told us Ryan Reynolds had a cameo in Hobbs & Shaw and a Justice League Dark show is in the works for HBO Max, both of which were correct – Netflix is interested in snagging her for the next season.
The protagonist undergoing a gender change would fit neatly with the show’s ambitions in exploring the relationship between your body and mind as well. Series creator Laeta Kalogridis expanded on this in an interview back in 2018. When asked about what she wanted to achieve with the body-swapping, she said:
“The idea that this kind of technology creates interesting intersections between your idea of your physical self and your idea of your inner or spiritual self, or your idea of being fluid in some way, certainly the idea of reassigning your gender, becomes a whole lot easier if you don’t actually have to do it surgically. At the very least it becomes different. You are still in a body you weren’t born in.
And I think exploring the idea of being able to recreate the physical self in another different way, I mean we’ve barely scratched the surface of that. And LGBTQ, and so many issues and the ways in which we feel comfortable or uncomfortable in our physical bodies, are things that I think the show is very right to explore, but has not yet been able to do. Certainly first season. We touched on it a little bit — but not much.”
Beetz’s star has risen stratospherically over the last few years, turning heads with her performance in FX’s Atlanta and Netflix anthology show Easy. Her recent appearance in Joker really caught the eye though, especially when the twist about the true nature of her relationship with Arthur Fleck was revealed.
She’d be a good fit for Altered Carbon, but don’t expect to hear much about the third season anytime soon, as there was a two-year gap between the first and second runs. Maybe things will be sped up by cyberpunk coming back into style, though.
After all, September sees the release of Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red’s hotly-anticipated follow-up to The Witcher 3. Beyond that, The Matrix 4 has begun shooting, though looks likely to face a delay due to Coronavirus. And who knows, we may even get an official announcement that a movie adaptation of Neuromancer, the founding text of the genre, is finally on the way?