While anime been around before the glorious days of Cowboy Bebop, the critically-acclaimed sci-fi series was largely credited to have introduced the genre to a new wave of Western audiences, and paved the way for the medium as a whole thereafter. Coupled with its status as a cult classic, expectations are understandably high for Netflix’s upcoming live-action take, as fans eagerly await the return of bounty-hunting antics.
As it turns out, the wait won’t be for much longer. According to Netflix’s Geeked Week virtual event, the series, which was first announced back in 2018, will be making its premiere this coming Fall, with original composer Yoko Kanno joining the team. There was no trailer to go along with the announcement, but it did reintroduce some of the principal cast members, including John Cho as Spike Spiegel, Mustafa Shakir as Jet Black, and Daniella Pineda as Faye Valentine. Absent from the line-up is Alex Hassell, who has been tapped to play Vicious, Spike’s former-sidekick-turned-hitman-antagonist.
The addition of Kanno is certainly welcome news, especially with creator Shinichiro Watanabe also on board as consultant of the 10-episode series. Christopher Yost, who has worked on Thor: Ragnarok, will serve as scriptwriter, with Javier Grillo-Marxuach on the directing front.
With no real look at the new Cowboy Bebop to go on, it remains to be seen if Netflix’s take on the anime classic will end up as a rare gem or a complete disaster. If anything, Cho’s hairstyle is certainly looking similar to its anime counterpart’s, though Netflix has confirmed that the cast’s appearances are not reflective of their actual look in the show.
The promise of more lore and characters does allow for a more interesting exploration of the Cowboy Bebop universe, but it’s also a double-edged sword that could easily throw a wrench into the works. Still, it’s assuring to see two names from the original hopping back onto the Bebop, and we can only wait to see what other jams and shenanigans are in store.
See you this Fall, space cowboy.