Some time ago, we made a video featuring 10 trivia about the anime from Cowboy Bebop, but now, with the live-action series debuting on Netflix, decide to bring an extra video, focusing exclusively on this production.
Yes, there’s a lot to be said about this production, so if you’ve seen our video about the anime, but want to know more about it. Cowboy Bebop before watching the Netflix series, so sit down and come with us. If you haven’t seen the other video yet, no problem, enjoy and enjoy them both.
10 – The Movie
In 2008, Fox already had a script, written by Peter Craig, for a live-action adaptation of Cowboy Bebop, and was planning to develop it into a movie. The anime’s creator, Shinichiro Watanabe, said he agreed with the idea and was appointed executive producer, along with some of the anime’s original writers.
Although they didn’t have a director for the project yet, Fox was excited about the concept and planned to release the film in 2011, featuring Keanu Reeves in the role of Spike Spiegel. Unfortunately, the movie never ended up coming out of the picture, and in 2013 Reeves commented on Reddit, saying the Cowboy Bebop movie would not happen again. At least not with him.
9 – Actors
Maybe you’re wondering where you’ve seen the trio of actors chosen to play the protagonists of Cowboy Bebop on the Netflix series. And actually, some of them you’ve seen on Netflix itself.
Starting with John Cho, interpreter of Spike Spiegel, this is not the first work of space science fiction in which he has been involved. Yeah, Cho is already a great ship connoisseur, after all he played Hikaru Sulu in the new movie trilogy by Star Trek. You can also find him on Netflix in the movie “Seeking out...”, where he lives a father desperate for clues about his missing daughter.
Daniella Pineda, chosen to give life to faye valentine on the series, is best known for playing the character Sophie Devereaux on the series The Originals and the character Zia Rodriguez in the film Jurassic World: Threatened Kingdom.
Already Mustafa Shakir, the interpreter of Jet Black, became known to the general public precisely on Netflix, so he’s kind of already at home. Shakir participated in the second season of the series Luke Cage, where he played the villain John McIver, the Bushmaster.
8 – John Cho crashed on set
In fact, the live-action series of Cowboy Bebop it should have already premiered, but a setback ended up delaying production by at least 7 months. In October 2019, during the recordings, Cho ended up having an accident on set, which according to information from the deadline at the time, it left the actor with a serious knee injury. Cho needed an operation and went through a long period of rehabilitation, while production was paused.
Upon returning, in an interview with Vulture, the actor revealed that he felt very guilty and disappointed in himself, as many people depended on that job at that time, and his accident brought production to a standstill and sent everyone home for a long period.
7 – Yoko Kanno
One of the biggest highlights of the anime of Cowboy Bebop, without a doubt, is the soundtrack. And one of Netflix’s biggest hits in its live-action series was bringing back the anime’s original composer, the legendary Yoko Kanno.
To create the characteristic soundtrack of the anime, the composer used everything she learned about jazz and funk during a trip to the United States. She started a jazz band called The Seatbelts specifically for the anime, and they created a soundtrack that set the tone for the series. It’s simple: Cowboy Bebop wouldn’t be Cowboy Bebop without Yoko Kanno.
6 – Original voice actors
In Japan, there is a bonus for live-action viewers. The Japanese dub of the series brings the original voice actors from the anime Cowboy Bebop reprising their roles: some notable examples include Kôichi Yamadera (Spike Spiegel), Megumi Hayashibara (Faye Valentine), Norio Wakamoto (Vicious) and Gara Takashima (Julia). The exception is Jet Black, who is played by Taiten Kusunoki; he replaces Black’s original voice actor Unshô Ishizuka, who passed away in 2018.
Other replacements are Masako Isobe, who replaces Kazuaki Ito as Spike’s former mentor, Mao, and Romi Park, who replaces Nobuyuki Hiyama as one of Vicious’s twin executioners, Shin.
5 – Age
in the anime of Cowboy Bebop, Spike Siegel, Faye Valentine and Jet Black are 27, 23 and 33 years old respectively. But in live-action they are played by John Cho, Daniella Pineda and Mustafa Shakir, who at the time of shooting were 49, 33 and 45 respectively.
In an interview with Syfy, the series’ producer, André Nemec, explained that this casting of older actors was deliberate. According to him, actors in their 20s would not be able to convey to the spectator the pains, difficulties and traumas of a cowboy. Thus, he needed mature actors, who could convince as characters with a background and an experience of life on their backs.
4 – Adapted episodes
Netflix says its live-action series won’t simply be an adaptation of each of the anime episodes, but appears to feature multiple anime episode arcs from Cowboy Bebop somehow.
In the trailer, we can see some of these moments, such as the episode “Asteroid Blues”, where a couple of criminals try to escape the planet; “Stray Dog Strut,” which features Spike’s fight with Abdul Hakim; “Gateway Shuffle”, which features a group of eco-terrorists led by criminal Maria Murdock; “Pierrot Le Fou,” where a bizarre murderous clown who has suffered experience and gained super powers nearly kills Spike; “Cowboy Funk,” which features the villain Teddy Bomber, a terrorist who blows up buildings; and “Ballad of Fallen Angels,” which features the unforgettable church showdown between Spike and Vicious, which doesn’t turn out well for Spike.
3 – Expanded Universe
It seems that Netflix has big plans for Cowboy Bebop, which go far beyond the live-action series. The idea is to lead to a kind of Expanded Universe of Cowboy Bebop, which can lead to other productions and, of course, other media.
For now, we already have a confirmed book. Entitled A Syndicate Story: Red Planet Requiem, the book serves as a prelude to the series and will be published by Titan Publishing and written by Sean Cummings – responsible for the live-action script. The plot will follow the adventures of young Spike Spiegel alongside Vicious – his friend and future enemy.
In addition to the book, a comic book was also announced, with the name of Cowboy Bebop: The Comic Series, starring Spike, Jet and Faye. The trio will be hunting a criminal who has a legendary vest — which supposedly brings him a lot of luck. The comic is scripted by DC veteran Dan Watters, with art by Lamar Mathurin. The comic book will be divided into 4 editions, starting in December.
2 – Film inspirations
In addition to the many references to the anime, producer André Nemec and the writers went beyond the source material and looked to films that inspired the original anime’s director himself, Shinichiro Wanatabe.
The movies include at the edge of the abyss (1946), Three Men in Conflict (1966), Bonnie and Clyde (1967), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Dirty Harry (1971), Deadly machine (1987) and The crow(1994).
1 – Faye’s clothes
The production originally tried to wear the original anime costume for Faye Valentine, but it soon became apparent that the outfits (or rather the lack of them) were not suitable for stunts. So, we opted for something more practical and less sexualized.
Costume designer Jane Holland said in an interview that Faye’s new design was aesthetically driven to be functional in the action scenes the character needs to do.