A whole bunch of people were bummed out when Netflix cancelled their live-action adaptation of the Cowboy Bebop anime back in December 2021, and as it turns out, no one was more bummed out than John Cho himself. I guess he really liked playing Spike Spiegel.

John Cho Blues

John Cho as Spike Spiegel, looking bummed out under some very blue lighting.
When your blue period starts to get literal.

During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter about his new book Troublemaker (co-written with Sarah Suk), John Cho eventually got around to talking about Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop adaptation. Specifically: his feelings about it, and the strong response people had to him. Rather fitting, since he played the lead role of Spike Spiegel in that live-action adaptation of the anime. Cho’s exact words on the subject were:

“I put a lot of my life into it. I’d gotten injured shooting that show and so I took a year off because of the surgery and devoted myself to rehab, came back and finished the show. It was this huge mountain for me to climb, healing from that injury. I felt good about myself as a result. We also shot the show in New Zealand, so my family moved there. It was just a huge event in my life and it was suddenly over. It was very shocking and I was bummed. But I was very warmed by the response. I wish I could have contacted everybody and gotten hugs. You can’t do that now, but … I don’t know what this is. I’m mystified a little bit about how you can connect with people that you don’t know doing your work, but I won’t question it. I will value it and treasure it. I’m just really deeply appreciative that anyone would care. It’s stunning to me.”

Cancelled at the Snap of a Big Corporation Finger?

Strangely fitting for the crew of the Bebop to have a big corporation screw them over, really.

So yeah, no surprise there. Neflix’s Cowboy Bebop was a big part of John Cho’s life, and he doesn’t like that it ended so suddenly. In fact, what’s even more shocking is the fact that he was shocked by the cancellation. It suggests that Netflix’s decision to cancel the series was a snap decision, more or less. They didn’t consult with anyone, or even take some time to consider the decision. All they did was look at the mediocre critical reception (47% on Rotten Tomatoes) and lukewarm audience reception (59% on the same). That was enough for Netflix to decide that the show wasn’t worth it, and pull the plug.

Sure, Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop wasn’t perfect. Heck, that last episode was truly terrible. But it’s not like it wasn’t a bad show overall. It certainly didn’t deserve that cliffhanger ending it has right now. Maybe that petition on Change.org could do something about it. With just over 146,000 signatures as of this writing, maybe that will make Netflix sit up and pay attention.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter, Rotten Tomatoes, Change.org