Altered Carbon To Be Produced by Mythology Entertainment

 Mythology Entertainment which was recently formed by Brad Fischer, Laeta Kologridis and James Vanderbilt, have optioned the film rights to the novel Altered Carbon, written by Richard Morgan.

Mike Medavoy and Arnie Messer will act as executive producers for this film, while Kologridis; who’s worked on Shutter Island and Avatar; will be adapting Altered Carbon for the big screen aside David Goodman; previously an executive producer of The Family Guy and the writer behind the Futurama Star Trek parody episode, “Where No Fan Has Gone Before.” Heh, he’s dead Jim.

The film which was initially to be developed by Warner Bros. back in 2006, but has turned over to Mythology Entertainment.

Altered Carbon is described as a “hardboiled science fiction novel” that is set five hundred years in a dystopian future. Here’s the official synopsis from the author Richard K. Morgan’s website:

“In the 26th century mankind has spread through the galaxy, taking its religions and racial divisions out into the cold arena of space. While tensions exist and small dirty wars flare up every now and then, the UN Protectorate maintains an iron grasp on the new worlds, aided by its very own elite shock-troops; the Envoy Corps.

Meanwhile, what religion cannot guarantee technology has already delivered; when your consciousness can be stored in a cortical stack and routinely downloaded into a new body even death has become little more than an inconvenience. As long as you can afford a new body…

Ex-UN Envoy Takeshi Kovacs has been killed before; it was a hazard of the job, but his last death was particularly brutal. Needlecast across light years of space, re-sleeved into a body in San Francisco on Old Earth and throw into the centre of a conspiracy that is vicious even by the standards of a society that has forgotten how to value life, he soon realises that the shell that blew a hole in his chest on Harlan’s World was only the beginning of his problems…”

So it’s a cyberpunk fantasy and crime story. The story follows the specially trained Kovacs who’s now leaped into the body of a nicotine addicted hard-boiled ex-cop. A very rich and powerful man has recruited Kovacs because he believes someone murdered his last body, and wants the soldier to find out the truth about the incident.

 “Altered Carbon is one of the most seminal pieces of post-cyberpunk hard science fiction out there — a dark, complex noir story that challenges our ideas of what it means to be human when all information becomes encodable, including the human mind,” said Kalogridis.

The novel which was published in 2002 reminds me of two pieces of science fiction work. The description of a power UN Protectorate over multiple worlds reminds me of televisions Firefly; also released in 2002; and the portion where consciousness travelling done via “hyperspatial data-casting” reminds me of the Ender’s Game series by Orsen Scott Card.

The optioning rights for the film also covers two more novels called Broken Angels and Woken Furies in the Takeshi Kovacs series.

While Altered Carbon is an exciting science fiction and crime hybrid, it does make one think about what the future holds for the human spirt. I’m suddenly plagued by questions about whether the soul exists anchored only to one body, or if it’s truly the sum of our memories and skills. Either way, I hope the film doesn’t turn into another carbon copy of other sci-fi movies that have been cranked out.


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