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Cue the jazz, rack up some bounties, and buckle up, all you space cowboys, because one of the best anime series of all time is getting a live-action remake! Cowboy Bebop, the anime that many credit for introducing the genre and style to a bulk of the Western world, will be back on your television relatively soon, and with actual living breathing actors. Here's what we know so far about this exciting announcement.
The live-action Cowboy Bebop television series is being commissioned by Tomorrow Studios and will be written by MCU screenwriting vet Chris Yost, according to Deadline. As things are just kicking off, no network or outlet exists yet. As well, no release date has been given for the project, but I think we can all say that whatever date is eventually given won't be soon enough.
Chris Yost's biggest screenwriting accolades to date are Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok, but the writer has written several X-Men comics for Marvel and has contributed to numerous DC and Marvel animated shows. It seems like Tomorrow Studios found a guy well ingrained in geek culture to tackle this project, if not anime itself, so skeptics can at least hope that this series won't just be Cowboy Bebop in name alone.
This marks the second time someone has tried to make Cowboy Bebop a live-action adventure, with the first attempt coming in 2008 in the form of a feature film. The first go-around featured a bunch of Sunrise Studio staff writers from the original series, with Keanu Reeves in the role of bounty hunter Spike Spiegel, but the deal fell through due to budget issues. Sunrise Studios appears once again in this remake announcement, but the company's only involvement mentioned is in an executive producing capacity.
Unfortunately for the present, it was not explicitly stated that anyone involved in the original series would be working hands-on with this new project. No word on who the studio is looking for in regards to the main man Spike Spiegel, but I think Reeves has aged out of the role since 2008. We can all start dreamcasting, though.
While I'm sure there are many excited about one of the best anime of all time becoming a flesh and bone project, there is a stigma among that same audience that many live-action adaptations of anime are plain bad. Overall, it's just a matter of opinion, but looking at the various controversies Ghost In The Shell had and the development hell the ever-hyped Akira film makes it clear that it's hard to please both the studios and hardcore fans of anime with projects like this.
Cowboy Bebop is just as iconic, if not a little more so, than both of those properties, so maybe its name and fan base will allow this new television series to break the cycle by finding a way for classic anime to thrive that's both honorable to the source material and marketable enough. If they do nothing more than recreate the show's most iconic scenes shot for shot, I think they can succeed.
We'll keep an eye on the development of the live-action Cowboy Bebop and let you know the important bits as more news rolls out. In the meantime, you have some on-the-horizon television waiting for you in our summer premiere guide, so head over there to see what shows sound good enough to spend your dog days with. Then hit up our finale guide to see when your current favorites are coming to an end.