They say hunger is the best spice and Cowboy Bebop fans have been hungry for updates since hearing that Netflix ordered 10 episodes back in November 2018. After 20 years this fandom has not diminished in their love for this story. In 2001 it was the first anime to premier on Adult Swim and brought mass attention to the Japanese export. Now we have the casting for the upcoming live-action adaptation.
You’re gonna carry that weight
Actor John Cho has been cast as the Cowboy Bebop lead character, Spike Spiegel. Cho has played many character types. From one half of the MILF guys in 2000’s American Pie to 2018’s new and unorthodox movie Searching. As a bounty hunter and mysterious former enforcer, this variety in roles could help Cho with the complex being that is Spike. Channeling his leading role in the short lived 2014 series Selfie can help with the stoicism and charm and harking back to his role as Chau in the also short lived 2001 series Off Center, with American Pie alum Eddie Kaye Thomas, can bring the sarcasm and cynicism needed. Traveling in the Bebop along with him eating bell peppers and beef (is there beef?) are his eclectic compatriots out for their next bounty: Jet, Faye, Ed and Ein.
Joining Cho on the show are Mustafa Shakir (Marvel’s Luke Cage) as Jet Black, Daniella Pineda (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom; What/If) as Faye Valentine and Alex Hassell (The Miniaturist; Suburbicon) as Vicious. No word who will play Judy, which is the role I’m waiting to see on screen. The director of the anime Shinichiro Watanabe will be on hand as a consultant which brings high hopes the original vision will be maintained. The writer of the first episode is Chris Yost whose other projects include Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok. One was a raving success and the other was a film. I’ll let you judge which is which. No word if this project will update the current story, continue where the show left off or be completely new. Whatever happens, happens.
It has not been great for live-action adaptations of manga and anime stories over the years. For every 2003’s Oldboy there are many 2009’s Dragonball Evolution, 2010’s The Last Airbender and Netflix’s own Death Note which was dropped in 2017… on its head, repeatedly. Netflix had some success with its adaptations of Bleach and Fullmetal Alchemist, however giving fans everywhere a glimpse of hope. No release date has been announced today and more casting is pending.