To those of you who’ve been seething over Netflix’s latest rash of weak live-action remakes of classic anime properties, this is the moment you’ve been dreading — but knew was inevitable. Cowboy Bebop, considered the pinnacle of Japanese animated television, will be turned into a “realistic” property by Netflix soon. The streaming giant announced the project late Tuesday evening.
It’s not the first time CB has been earmarked for Americanization, but it’s the closest it has come to getting there. A feature film starring Keanu Reeves as Spike Spiegel was on the table for years before Tinseltown abandoned it. Usually by the time Netflix formally announces a show, it has committed to seeing it through.
Netflix is co-producing the new Cowboy Bebop with Tomorrow Studios. Andre Nemec, Josh Appelbaum and Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg will serve as showrunners. Marty Adelstein, Becky Clements, Yasuo Miyakawa, Masayuki Ozaki, Shin Sasaki, Tetsu Fujimura and Matthew Weinberg will executive produce various episodes (there will be ten in the ordered season). Creator Shinichiro Watanabe will serve as consultant.
The real question is….what are we getting? Unlike most anime around, Cowboy Bebop was not a serialized story, even if there were common threads throughout. Most episodes were stand-alone adventures. Will they simply remake all 26 of those stories (which would be kinda uninspired)? Or will they use the relaunch to tell some completely new tales with Spike and the crew? We’d prefer the latter, even if it would cost us Mushroom Samba.
Let’s stay optimistic for the time being. It’s not like “cowboys in space” hasn’t been successfully pulled off in live-action already.