Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Where Was Altered Carbon Filmed?

Netflix's Altered Carbon series offered viewers a vision of the future where death didn't have to be permanent, thanks to a device called a cortical stack that allows an individual's consciousness to be stored digitally. If a person has the financial wherewithal, or skills that society deems desirable, that stack can be inserted into what the show calls a sleeve — an organic or artificial body — and they can continue to live life in a relatively normal way.

Altered Carbon explores multiple characters who are resleeved – the show's term for bringing individuals back to life with a cortical stack — throughout the first and second season. Takeshi Kovacs (Joel Kinnaman) is a former intelligence officer and mercenary who is brought back to life by Laurens Bancroft (James Purefoy), one of the richest men in the world. Bancroft resleeves Kovacs to investigate his death, which he was able to survive as a result of the cortical stack technology.

As Kovacs investigates Bancroft's murder and gets pulled into a web of cyberpunk film-noir intrigue, the show follows him through the futuristic Bay City. While much of the neon cityscape is made possible through CGI, some of the beautiful sets are real locations. All of this begs the question — where was Altered Carbon filmed?

Altered Carbon was filmed at some of Vancouver, British Columbia most striking locations

The majority of filming for Altered Carbon took place in Vancouver, British Columbia. Vancouver has long been a favorite spot for filmmakers to shoot key scenes. High-profile pictures like Deadpool 2 and the upcoming Peacemaker series on HBO Max are just a few examples of projects that have used the city as a home base for productions. However, while most films use the Canadian city as an interchangeable backdrop, Altered Carbon featured some of its most unique locations.

Atlas of Wonders provides a helpful guide to the real-life locations that Altered Carbon repurposes to become a part of Bay City. The exterior of ultra-rich Laurens Bancroft's home, for example, was the University of British Columbia Rose Garden, while the interior was shot at The Marine Building. The Psychasec Vault exterior featured shots of the Qube, which, from certain angles, appears to be suspended from thin air in real life.

While Altered Carbon made excellent use of Vancouver's most notable architecture, more mundane locations found a purpose on the show. According to Atlas of Wonders, the former Canada Post Building was used in five different scenes, and Kovacs grabs a drink with Kristen Ortega (Martha Higareda) in a bar scene filmed at an actual Vancouver nightclub, No5 Orange.

The locations around Vancouver also appeared in certain scenes

Vancouver itself was put to excellent use in Altered Carbon, but the series didn't shy away from including scenes set in the areas surrounding the city, either. Just outside of the city limits, in Coquitlam, is a former mental health facility, the Riverview Hospital. With some help from a few dark filters and a crowd of extras arranged as protesters, it becomes Alcatraz Prison, which Takeshi Kovacs emerges from in the first episode, according to Atlas of Wonders.

The landscape surrounding Vancouver provided locations for some of Altered Carbon's flashbacks to Kovacs' past lives. The industrial Britannia Mine Museum served as a backdrop for a scene in which an assault team encounters his sister, while the suspension bridge near the Sea to Sky Gondola provided an incredible backdrop for another shot. The beach that a young Kovacs plays on with his sister is located on British Columbia's Minaty Bay.

All in all, Altered Carbon did an excellent job of repurposing Vancouver to portray an otherworldly future while still incorporating distinctive elements of the area it was filmed in. While the show may have canceled after just two seasons, fans can still find plenty to enjoy in the 18 episodes still available on Netflix, alongside the prequel anime Resleeved.