Alongside Netflix’s expansion into the anime market, Netflix is also adapting fan-favorite Cowboy Bebop into a live-action series. Here’s the latest on Cowboy Bebop including the Netflix release date, plot, cast and trailer.
Cowboy Bebop is an upcoming Netflix Original live-action sci-fi series based on the manga of the same name by author Hajime Yatate. Alex Garcia Lopez (Daredevil) is set to direct the series with twelve writers on board to help create the story, most notably Thor Ragnorok writer Christopher L. Yost is on board.
Yost also serves as an executive producer on the series.
Tomorrow Studios is behind the Netflix adaptation and are also currently working on the live-action series One-Piece for Netflix too.
The manga debuted in September of 1997 in Monthly Asuka Fantasy DX and ran until June 1998. A second manga series began a month later and ran for a further three volumes and ending in February 2000.
Cowboy Bebop‘s popularity skyrocketed, and anime adaptation soon followed after the first manga run. Both the manga and anime rose to critical acclaim, becoming one of the most popular franchises of the late 90s. The legacy of Cowboy Bebop is still felt today as the series is still for many, one of the best anime ever created.
What is the plot of Cowboy Bebop?
In the year 2071, most of humanity has colonized the rocky planets and moons of the solar system. Roughly fifty years prior, Earth had been left uninhabitable after an accident with a hyperspace gateway. Amidst the rise of a growing crime rate throughout the solar system, the Inter Solar System Police legalize bounty hunters. Known as “Cowboys” they chase criminals across the solar system and bring them to justice.
Chasing down these criminals are the crew of the spaceship Bebop. Spike Siegal, former hitman and exiled member of the Red Dragon syndicate and his partner Jet Black a former ISSP officer. The amnesiac con-artist Faye Valentine, Edward Wong the eccentric hacking girl and finally Ein the genetically engineered adorable Welsh Corgi with human-like intelligence.
In January 2020, while promoting a new horror movie (The Grudge), John Cho had a fair bit to reveal on what to expect from the upcoming live-action Cowboy Bebop series.
Cho referred to the series as “unique piece of material” and that throughout they had to “keep it strange” to be true to the source material.
"We gotta keep it strange."
John Cho discusses his upcoming Cowboy Bebop Netflix series and his favorite moments from the anime. pic.twitter.com/njQnwuIBDw
— IGN (@IGN) January 8, 2020
Who is in the cast of Cowboy Bebop?
The following cast members have been confirmed to star in Cowboy Bebop:
- Spike Spiegel will be played by John Cho (as seen in Star Trek & Harold & Kumar)
- Vicious will be played by Alex Hassell (as seen in Cold Mountain & Two Down)
- Faye Valentine played by Danielle Pineda (seen in Jurassic World and The Vampire Diaries
- Jet Black will be played by Mustafa Shakir (seen in Luke Cage and Quarry)
Here are the respective actors for the Netflix live-action remake and their anime counterparts.
Rumors had spread by a Bebop blog that a Husky was cast as Ein instead of a Welsh Corgi.
According to the Bebop blog a spokesperson from Netflix has commented on the change of Dog breed for Ein:
Nothing in the story says Ein has to be a Corgi and honestly, a reboot that precisely mimics the source material is boring. We’ve already seen that story.
The response after being asked about potential fan backlash was very intriguing:
Just like the genre the show is named for, sometimes it’s better to do what’s unexpected, what’s never been done before. This is the ethos of Bebop, and we’re being truet to that. We’re confident true fans of the show will embrace this choice.
The “statement” made was most likely fake for a number of reasons. First of all, using the phrase “true fans” is one way to really rile up the fanbase. The last thing you want to do is question a fan bases love for this franchise in particular.
Second of all writer and executive producer Christoper Yost acknowledged the rumors on Twitter and cleared up any confusion on the breed of Ein.
in the nearly three years i’ve been working on it, there has not been a single day where ein was anything other than a welsh corgi. #CowboyBebop
— christopher yost (@yost) May 5, 2019
Speaking in May 2020, Marty Adelstein addressed the idea that a new Netflix series would be whitewashed saying:
“because of all these anime movies that have come out and been accused of being whitewashed, we have really gone out of our way. We have the original composer, Yoko Kanno, doing music. The characters are all sort of multiethnic, and it’s a great cast. And the two episodes I have seen are so much fun. It’s really fun.”
In July 2020, alongside the production updates (see below), Daniel Richtman revealed they are currently casting Gren.
The casting grid states the following:
This character is nonbinary, genderqueer, intersex, transmasculine, and/or third gender in their 30s. They are a bartender at Ana’s nightclub and Ana’s right hand person. As capable with a saxophone as a glock, as confident in a dress as a suit, Gren is a Bowie-esque embodiment of 22nd century handsome beauty… RECURRING GUEST PERFORMER (People who identify as nonbinary, genderqueer, intersex, transmasculine, and/or third gender are encouraged to submit.)
What is the production status of Cowboy Bebop season one?
Official Production Status: Scheduled to restart in September 2020.
The series had begun production but after an accident onset involving lead actor John Cho, the production has been delayed.
Cho suffered an injury during the last take of a “well-rehearsed routine,” and has been flown back to Los Angeles for surgery and then extensive rehabilitation.
In November 2019, John Cho posted on Instagram that he was on the mend.
As of December 2019, the series is now scheduled to start filming again in July 2020 according to ProductionWeekly. However, this was delayed again.
In July 2020, Daniel Richtman reported that the series had been pushed back and is now due to film between September 2020 to January 2021.
Daniel Richtman also confirmed that Alex Garcia Lopez, Michael Katleman and Jennifer Phang would be directing.
He also confirmed that filming for the series is due to take place entirely in Auckland, New Zealand.
In May 2020, thanks to an interview with Syfy, we were given an update on the production schedule for the series.
So far, three episodes have been completed according to Marty Adelstein. Filming is expected to start up again before the close of 2020 according to Adelstein.
How many episodes will Cowboy Bebop season 1 air?
The first season of Cowboy Bebop will have ten episodes.
When is the release date for Cowboy Bebop season one?
Our previous prediction was a release date in Q2 2020. The release date for Cowboy Bebop will be pushed back by a significant amount after John Cho’s injury on set.
With a delay to production that will last of least seven months, this pushes the release date back a significant amount. If we’re lucky we’ll see Cowboy Bebop drop in the Summer or Fall of 2021 but could even be landing as late as 2022.
Are you looking forward to the release of Cowboy Bebop season one? Let us know in the comments below!