Cowboy Bebop is set to be one of 2021’s biggest releases, giving the live-action treatment to Shinichirō Watanabe’s hugely popular anime series of the same name.
Starring John Cho, Cowboy Bebop is an action-packed space Western about three bounty hunters, aka “cowboys,” all trying to outrun the past. As different as they are deadly, Spike Spiegel (Cho), Jet Black (Mustafa Shakir), and Faye Valentine (Daniella Pineda) form a scrappy, snarky crew ready to hunt down the solar system’s most dangerous criminals — for the right price. But they can only kick and quip their way out of so many scuffles before their pasts finally catch up with them.
As Spiegel says: “In this solar system, if the cops and the bounty hunters don’t get ya, the syndicate will.
“There’s no happy ending here.”
The series also stars Alex Hassell, Elena Satine, Geoff Stults, Tamara Tunie, Mason Alexander Park, Rachel House, Ann Truong, and Hoa Xuande. Casting for the project was first announced back in 2019, but production was eventually delayed after Cho sustained a knee injury on set. Cho left the New Zealand–based set and headed home to the US for nine months to recover, with filming supposed to start up again in the summer of 2020. Of course, the pandemic then happened and delayed the production once again.
In an August interview with Vulture, Cho admitted that while he hadn’t heard of Cowboy Bebop before receiving the script, he knew right away that he had to be involved.
“The first thing I read and fell in love with was our episode-one script, which I thought was really brilliant, and I thought, what the hell is this?” he said.
“And then I investigated the anime and just thought this was the most unique piece of entertainment I had seen in a long time: the combination of genres, characters, the music.”
The series definitely looks like it will be a fun ride for both fans old and new as it will blend the genres of Western, noir, action and comedy.
“I don’t think that I’ve ever taken a role more seriously,” Cho has said.
And while the first season of Cowboy Bebop hasn’t even debuted yet, writer and producer Christopher Yost is already thinking about another.
“Hopefully a global audience embraces it because we’ve got a lot more stories to tell,” Yost told Vanity Fair.
“Across the lore of Bebop, there are certain episodes and stories that are just slam dunk, no-brainers to tell. And I would certainly love to tell more of them.”
Cowboy Bebop lands on Netflix on Friday, November 19. Check out the official trailer below.