Netflix’s upcoming adaptation of Cowboy Bebop will look to capture the ‘spirit’ of the original. Instead of doing a direct adaptation of Shinichiro Watanabe’s beloved series.

Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop Series

In November of 2018 Netflix announced a live action adaptation of Shinichiro Watanabe’s iconic anime Cowboy Bebop. The adaptation would be a ten episode series. John Cho was cast as bounty hunter Spike Spiegel. Mustafa Shakir as Jet Black. Daniella Pineda as Faye Valentine. Alex Hassell as Vicious. Finally Elena Satine will play Julia. Filming began in 2019. It was delayed when John Cho suffered a knee injury, and then again with the spread of COVID-19. Despite these setbacks the series is still looking to release some time in 2021.

How to Adapt Cowboy Bebop

Cowboy Bebop
Editorial use only. No book cover usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Snap Stills/REX/Shutterstock (2105833a) 5 (l-r) Spike Spiegel (Koichi Yamadera) – Jet Black (Unsho Ishizuka) – Faye Valentine (Megumi Hayashibara) Center: Edward Wong (Aoi Tada) Cowboy Bebop – 1998

Javier Grillo-Marxuach, best known for Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance, is part of the extensive writers room for Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop. In an interview with Gizmodo Marxuach discusses what the writing process for the show has been liks. Making it clear that the show will not be a one to one adaptation of the original series. Especially since the original has 20 minute episodes while the Netflix show will have hour long episodes. The job for the writers and show-runners was the use the original series as a launching point. Aiming to create something recognizable as Cowboy Bebop while still taking advantage of the medium of a streaming mini-series.


Cowboy Bebop

Hollywood has had a long complicated history with live action adaptations of anime. Films like Dragonball: Evolution, The Guyver, Kite, Ghost In The Shell, Death Note, and Speed Racer have received mixed to negative responses. These days announcements of Hollywood adaptations of anime are met with groans from fans. Alita: Battle Angel was a good anime adaptation. All of the ingredients are there for Cowboy Bebop to be an Alita instead of a Dragonball: Evolution. But we won’t know for sure until 2021. And even if it is whether fans of the original will give it a chance.

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