Netflix has announced the release of its live-action adaptation of the famed anime series Cowboy Bebop as well as images of the cast.
The live-action rendition will premiere on the streaming service on November 19 and it will star actor John Cho (best known for his role as Harold in the comedy series Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle) as Spike Spiegel, Mustafa Shakir (best known as the Bushmaster on Luke Cage) as Jet Black, and Daniella Pineda (best known as Zia Rodriguez in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) as Faye Valentine.
As far as we know, the team’s hacker Radical Ed will not be in the Netflix series, but the data dog Ein certainly is. Yoko Kanno, who was the composer of the anime original, is back to create music for the live-action series.
Netflix released these images of the actors dressed up as the Bebop crew. Spike’s attire is true to life; he even has poofy hair. Jet looks almost identical to the animated series while Faye looks completely different with the only semblance to the original outfit being her yellow vest.
Although they’re not shown in these preview images, the other cast includes Alex Hassell (best known for his role as John Thomas in film Two Down) as the killer Vicious and Elena Satine (best known as Mera on Smallville) as Spike’s former lover Julia.
Other adapted characters include Mason Alexander Park as the battle-hardened veteran Gren.
Reception on social has been mixed, although it leans more to the negative. The number one complaint people have is how the characters look. The comments have been particularly harsh with a lot of people saying the cast looks like cosplayers while others say they look like they’re wearing Halloween costumes.
Others have stated that they’ll remain “cautiously optimistic” about the live-action adaptation, but the overall first impressions are not good. The skepticism from the audience is understandable as it’s rare to see well-done live adaptations of anime, manga, or light novels.
Edge of Tomorrow, starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, is an exception to this rule in my opinion. It’s a sci-fi film that is the adaptation of the light novel, All You Need is Kill, by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. Beyond that, adaptations are mixed. Look at Netflix’s rendition of Death to see what people are afraid of.
The production of the live-action Cowboy Bebop was fraught with problems that led to its long development. Actor John Cho suffered an on-set knee injury in October 2019. After that, the COVID-19 pandemic happened which pushed the series back even more.
Despite all of the issues, filming finished in March of this year and several cast members have been hinting at a second season. Each episode will be an hour long, with writer and executive Jeff Pinkner saying that the length will allow them to tell stories that delight the fans and expose new people to the series.
As a fan of Cowboy Bebop, I hope he’s right.
What do you think? Do these images excite you? Are you looking forward to the live-action Cowboy Bebop adaptation?