'Cowboy Bebop' Live Action Series Announced: Let The Meh Flow Through You

Cowboy Bebop.
Cowboy Bebop. (c) Sunrise

Apparently, Cowboy Bebop is getting an American live-action series adaptation. Just what no one asked for: more American remakes of beloved anime classics, because Ghost in the Shell didn’t bomb hard enough, Dragon Ball: Evolution isn’t enough of a laughingstock and Death Note for Netflix doesn’t look bad enough on its own. Okay.

Here’s the pedigree: the Cowboy Bebop live-action series is being developed by Tomorrow Studios, Marty Adelstein’s joint venture with ITV studios. Tomorrow Studios is working with Midnight Radio on the project. Midnight Radio will executive produce along with Sunrise, the studio that made the original anime series. Adelstein (Good Behavior, Prison Break), Becky Clements (Good Behavior, Aquarius), and Matthew Weinberg will all be executive producers.

While it’s good to hear that the original studio is a part of the adaptation, the writer is Chris Yost, whose best credits are Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok , amongst a slew of animated TV series like Avengers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Iron Man shows. So: alarm bells already, because that’s really not the most impressive writing resume. No word on whether or not Yoko Kanno will be reprising her work on the soundtrack, and if she isn’t, then the two people who half-heartedly cared about this news will stop caring.

Like Ghost in the Shell, Cowboy Bebop is a Holy Grail entryway anime for a lot of people. Its 26 episodes aired in Japan from 1998 to 1999. Its ragtag crew of bounty hunters and fluid animation as well as Yoko Kanno’s iconic jazz soundtrack helped catapult it to classic status. It was the first anime to air on Adult Swim in the US.

“We are excited to work with Sunrise in bringing this beloved anime to the U.S. and global marketplace as a live-action series,” said Adelstein in a statement to Deadline. “The animated version has long resonated with audiences worldwide, and with the continued, ever growing, popularity of anime, we believe a live action version will have an incredible impact today.”

There’s already a Cowboy Bebop movie, which is set in the latter third of the anime series. A live-action remake of Cowboy Bebop has been rumored for a while, with Keanu Reeves reported to star, but development hasn’t moved forward in years.

But if you just can’t wait for your latest dose of American anime adaptations, Netflix’s Death Note adaptation has a release date of Aug. 25. Can’t wait to watch YA lightweight Nat Wolff try his very best as “Light Turner,” whoever that’s supposed to be? (At least Willem Dafoe is voicing Ryuk, which is the only light in this dim cavern of whatever these people think they’re doing to Death Note, a property which did not require their improvements.)

Do you think Cowboy Bebop might be the live-action anime remake that finally hits gold among viewers? Or is the meh flowing through you as you read this? What changes do you think they’ll make to the show to make it feasible for a live-action project? Do you have your little Firefly quip out of your system yet, even though it’s closer to Outlaw Star than Cowboy Bebop? Do you think the Thor sequel writer will bring a deft touch to the source material or are you cringing in anticipation? Will Cowboy Bebop be the new The Last Airbender ? Am I being awfully negative and do I not have reason to be?

Feel free to share all your thoughts on the upcoming Cowboy Bebop live-action series in the comments below.

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