This is a weird one because the team at FCPN were just talking about Anime, Cowboy Bebop in particular, and then this news was released the next day!
Cowboy Bebop is getting a live-action remake on Netflix. The streaming giant is dedicated to expanding its reach worldwide and that has recently meant even more focus on anime-related projects. With the latest announcement, they’ve secured the rights to one of the more popular Japanese animated series.
Cowboy Bebop first debuted in 1997 and though it only ran for 26 episodes, the series has remained a huge part of anime since. Indeed, it’s not a stretch to say that it’s influence is felt across a lot of entertainment, I often thought that Firefly was inspired by this and Archer’s opening sequence is more than a little similar!
The story follows a group of bounty hunters that go after some of the galaxy’s most wanted criminals. The team initially consisted of Spike Spiegel and Jet Black with Faye Valentine and Radical Ed joining later, not to mention Ein. Although the series was short lived, it has continued on in various forms over the years. Now with the help of Netflix, Cowboy Bebop will receive a brand new outlet for stories.
Netflix recently announced that they’ve partnered with Tomorrow Studios (a partnership between Marty Adelstein and ITV Studios) to get a live-action Cowboy Bebop series off the ground. The series has been in the works since last year and has now been given the green light at Netflix.
The first season will consist of 10 episodes (which is pretty much standard for Netflix), with Christopher Yost writing the first. The series also has Andre Nemec, Josh Appelbaum, Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg of Midnight Radio executive producing but the biggest news to a lot of people is that the original series director Shinichiro Watanabe is consulting on the project! Check out the brief announcement teaser below:
Marty Adelstein and Becky Clements of Tomorrow Studios; Yasuo Miyakawa, Masayuki Ozaki, and Shin Sasaki of Sunrise Inc; Tetsu Fujimura and Matthew Weinberg will also serve as executive producers on the series.
Naturally, any news of a remake comes with some who are worried that the new take could somehow damage the brand if not done correctly, especially Western remakes of Eastern properties (we’re looking at you Death Note). However, with the series viewed as a remake of the anime and with Watanabe’s involvement, fans of the original series shouldn’t expect too many changes to the source material. However, since the original show only lasted 26 episodes, by the third season of the new Cowboy Bebop (should it get that far) it could end up telling new stories. Would these be all new, or draw from the manga series? Who knows?
Overall, the addition of Cowboy Bebop to Netflix’s upcoming slate is part of a larger plan to add more anime content. They just recently announced that all of Neon Genesis Evangelion is coming to their service next year and with Adi Shankar reportedly bringing a Devil May Cry anime series to Netflix at some point in the future, they’ve shown their intention to tap into the very ripe market of anime.
What do you make of all this? I think it’s great that they’re tapping into this market and have every faith that it’ll do great but I would also understand some people’s hesitance! Let us know your thoughts!