of course as I read this my thoughts changed...Sometime I did back in AD&D, and of course requires player buy-in, but I wondered if people (in general) might be willing to give this a try:
A dozen (or more) pre-generated PC concepts are made and placed in sealed envelopes. Each concept will include race, ability scores, backgrounds, along with alignment and personality traits.
Each player gets to choose two envelopes to open and review the concepts inside. You MUST play one or the other. You cannot change your race or your background, etc. Ability scores can be adjusted only by reducing a score two points to increase a different score one point.
You then choose your class, starting equipment, etc. as normal.
If your character dies, by default your new character is based on your second envelop selection, using the same rules, but will enter the game at the same level as your deceased character.
If both characters die, you can make a sidekick character to continue playing or may leave the game as a player. If envelopes remain, you can choose a third as well, if your first two PCs are deceased. You may continue to come to view how the game unfolds if you wish, of course!
So, the question: would you play in such a campaign?
There is a challenge here, of course, and I expect players who "only want to play what I want to play" will say "no". I also understand for many people playing time is limited, so having that view is not by default a bad one (no judgement here!).
As I opened with, I have run such games in AD&D with a lot of success, but with modern views I am not certain how well received it would be.
I started imagining you doing full pregens, but then you had us choose class and equipment... I'm not sure. I would be down for full pregen though... but I don't know if I want to put the work into class equipment and such for a character half made