After many delays and a lot of skepticism, the first images of the live-action Cowboy Bebop are here to convince you that maybe, just maybe, there can be good live-action adaptations of anime shows – maybe the secret was corgis all along.
Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop is developed by André Nemec (Alias) and Jeff Pinkner (Fringe, Alias), and written by Christopher Yost (Thor: Ragnarok, The Mandalorian). The show stars John Cho as the iconic space bounty hunter, Spike Spiegel, as well as Daniella Pineda as Faye Valentine, Mustafa Shakir as Jet Black, Alex Hassell as Vicious, Elena Satine as Julia, and an adorable Corgi as Ein.
The show is based on the iconic ’90s anime Cowboy Bebop by Shinichirō Watanabe, and it follows the lives of a traveling crew of bounty hunters aboard their spaceship, Bebop. The show is known for its blend of sci-fi, western, and noir motifs and influences. Though the show was a critical and commercial success on both sides of the Pacific, it was a huge hit in the U.S., where it became part of a wave of anime shows that popularized the medium in the ’90s alongside Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z.
The images make a great case for the visual fidelity of the upcoming live-action series. As if Cho‘s casting wasn’t perfect enough, the makeup and costuming look straight out of Toshihiro Kawamoto‘s character designs. The images also give us our first look at the titular Bebop, as well as hint at some of the storylines we’ll see in the series, including what looks like the church from the iconic ‘Ballad of Fallen Angels’ episode.
Still, the show won’t just be a carbon copy of the anime. Last year, writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach explained that Cowboy Bebop will also expand upon the original.
“We’re not going to go one-to-one on all of those stories because we’re also trying to tell the broader story of Spike Spiegel and the Syndicate, Spike Spiegel and Julia, Spike Spiegel and Vicious, and all that. But we are looking at the show and saying, “Who are some of the great villains in this show, and how can we put them into this broader narrative?” So that we are telling both of the big stories that Cowboy Bebop tells.”
We’ll have to wait just a little bit longer before we hear Yoko Kanno‘s incredible jazz-inspired soundtrack as well as the new music she’s composing to the series, as Cowboy Bebop debuts November 19 on Netflix. In the meantime, check out the brand new images showing Cho as Spike. See you, space cowboy…