Although much of Netflix’s newly released big budget, hit sci-fi series was filmed inside Skydance Studios’ new production studio in the suburb of Surrey and produced using high-calibre CGI, quite a few landmarks and significant sites around the Metro Vancouver region also made a prominent appearance in the series’ first season.
The series is the video on-demand giant’s latest attempt to provide itself with its equivalent of Game of Thrones. In fact, this season had a larger production budget than Game of Thrones’ early seasons, and it clearly showed with its Blade Runner vibe.
Altered Carbon is set in gritty Bay City, what was known as San Francisco, in the 24th century when the ultra wealthy are able to transfer their consciousness to a “sleeve” – also known today as a human body. Their consciousness and memories are “uploaded” to a storage device implanted into their bodies, allowing them to switch sleeves and essentially live forever.
It stars Joel Kinnaman, who is no stranger to Vancouver after spending years in the city filming AMC and Netflix’s The Killing and the remake of RoboCop.
“We had one set that was three football fields deep,” said Joel Kinnaman in an interview while describing the elaborate set at the Surrey studio. “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.”
Production on the series’ first season began in November 2016. Here are some unique locations where Altered Carbon was filmed in Vancouver:
Spoilers ahead, people.
UBC’s Rose Garden as the garden of Bancroft’s palace above the clouds.
Scene from Altered Carbon. (Netflix)
Filmed in Vancouver reality
UBC Rose Garden. (UBC Media Relations)
The Marine Building lobby as Laurens Bancroft’s palace.
National Features Editor at Daily Hive, the evolution of Vancity Buzz. He covers local architecture, urban issues, politics, business, retail, economic development, transportation and infrastructure, and the travel industry. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year's Eve Vancouver. Connect with him at kenneth[at]dailyhive.com