Cowboy Bebop Live Action Show In The Works

Cowboy Bebop Live Action Show In The Works
27 June 2017 Peter Martin Pop Culture
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If you are an anime fan, you probably have heard of Cowboy Bebop. It’s a surprisingly divisive anime as people tend to get real into it or just brush it off and never finish the series. It’s got a bit of a slow build but the payoff at the end is totally worth it. While commercially successful, you might be surprised to learn that Cowboy Bebop has never been really as popular in Japan compared to other anime. In fact, it has a larger audience worldwide. This would explain the season with 26 episodes and the follow up movie.

Made back in 1998, it has had a long lasting impact — people still talk about a second season or more movies.

For a long time rumors circulated that Keanu Reeves was to play the lead role of Spike in a live action adaptation, but it never came to fruition. The rumors were being circulated around the Internet, and the obvious interest garnered enough attention that someone else thought, “Hey, if they aren’t going to make a movie, I could make a whole TV series.”

It’s a risky proposal as this is a pretty high concept sci-fi bounty hunter show. Spike is a bounty hunter who never seems to get paid, and has a checkered past involving a mafia organization. There is a lot of flying around in spaceships, going to cool sci-fi cities and alien landscapes as well as the off-the-rails, psychedelic mushroom episode. They even have a dog that is a living USB stick.

They can tell these diverse stories through animation because drawing different things doesn’t cost any more per episode. As a fan, my concern is a live action show would have to skimp on special effects or reduce the diversity of locations and the subsequent stories they were attached to — or it would be done poorly.


With the confirmation from Variety, that a live action show is definitely 100% in the works (that’s not the same as the show actually making it to broadcasting), the Internet seems to share my own concerns.

I would love a new Cowboy Bebop only because so many of the current options for sci-fi on TV seem to be dark and serious. Cowboy Bebop is named after a crew that has irresponsible fun whenever they can, especially in the middle of a violent mess of their own making.

Sunrise, the original Japanese production company, is working with the writer from the second Thor movie. Remember that one? Not super well. Yeaaaah, that’s why I am writing this with a sense of reservation. Although, Thor does have the right tone compared to the other super heroes, so it might work out. You can see I’m emotionally divided, just like the Internet is about this. 

Another point of concern is that the music of Cowboy Bebop was as iconic as any other element of the show and Yoko Kanno isn’t attached to the project at all at the moment. Will they just use the old music, tap her to make new songs, or go in a different direction? This is the fun of speculating just how wrong they’ll get it.

Still, what this all really means is that people are excited at the prospect. Positive or negative, what these people really want is another Cowboy Bebop. Mainly because a new generation needs the chance to get to say'


“See you, Space Cowboy.”


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