Cowboy Bebop’s live action adaptation coming this fall to Netflix
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Cowboy Bebop’s live action adaptation coming this fall to Netflix

By Elizabeth Gibson for The J-Pop Exchange

Netflix has announced that the heavily long-awaited live action adaptation of Cowboy Bebop, frequently touted as one of the greatest animes of all time, will premiere in the fall of this year on the streaming service.

The announcement was made during Netflix Geeked’s first ever Geeked Week -- a virtual fan-facing event revealing first looks and celebrating all things genre entertainment at Netflix.

Netflix describes the series as: “Based on the worldwide phenomenon from Sunrise Inc., Cowboy Bebop is the jazz-inspired, genre-bending story of Spike Spiegel, Jet Black, Faye Valentine and Radical Ed: a rag-tag crew of bounty hunters on the run from their pasts as they hunt down the solar system's most dangerous criminals. They'll even save the world … for the right price.”

The media giant released a teaser trailer earlier this week showing John Cho with his hair very much in Spike Spiegel form; Daniella Pineda, who will play Faye Valentine; and Mustafa Shakir, who was cast in the role as Jet Black. The teaser briefly showed the three actors shoulder dancing and tapping along to the beat of the original theme song from the anime.

While simultaneously releasing a teaser trailer and announcing the premiere schedule, Netflix also announced that Yoko Kanno, the composer behind the iconic soundtrack of the original anime, will be creating the soundtrack for the Netflix live action adaptation.

Kanno is a Japanese composer, arranger and musician best known for her work on the soundtracks of anime films, television series, live-action films, video games, and advertisements. Other than Cowboy Bebop, arguably her most well-known work, she has worked on scores for Darker than Black, Macross Plus, Turn A Gundam, The Vision of Escaflowne, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Wolf's Rain, Kids on the Slope, Genesis of Aquarion and Terror in Resonance. Kanno is also the keyboardist and frontwoman for The Seatbelts, a band that performs many of Kanno's compositions and soundtracks.

The series, which is set to be developed by André Nemec and Jeff Pinkner, written by Christopher Yost, and will star John Cho, Mustafa Shakir, Daniella Pineda, along with Alex Hassell, and Elena Satine, was announced all the way back in 2017. Fans have been waiting patiently for the news ever since, despite all of the production hiccups along the way.

Back in October 2019, early filming production was shut down after John Cho sustained a knee injury, setting production back by more than half a year. However, Netflix chose not to recast Cho in order to finish filming on time. Then, in 2020, production was shut down due to coronavirus pandemic protocols. Production resumed on September 30, 2020, after the New Zealand government gave the green light to continue following the nation's COVID-19 shutdown. Filming officially wrapped on March 15 of this year.


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