The upcoming Cowboy Bebop live-action adaptation is one of the most anticipated television series of the year, with fans anxiously awaiting how the Netflix show will handle taking on a legendary anime. According to showrunner André Nemec, their adaptation aims to expand the show, but not violate its established lore.
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“I promise we will never take the original anime away from the purists. It will always exist out there,” Nemec said of his intent with the Netflix series in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “But I’m very excited about the stories that we’re telling. I believe we’ve done a really nice job of not violating the canon in any direction but merely offering some extra glimpses into the world that was already created.”
Nemec went on to say that the show will be more of an “expansion to the canon” and that it will “add things” to the overall lore of the series, without aiming to shake up what was already established or beloved by fans.
“We got under the skin of who the live-action characters were going to be,” he added. “I think that the poetic nature of the anime absolutely allowed for us to mine the archetypal nature of the characters and dig out deeper histories that we wanted to explore — and answer some of the questions that the anime leaves you with. I think to just redo the anime will leave an audience hungry for something that they already saw. The anime did an amazing job. We don’t need to serve the exact same meal. I think it would have been disappointing if we did.”
Thankfully, fans of the series won’t have to wait too long to see how the series handles things, as Cowboy Bebop lands on Netflix on November 19, 2021. Netflix’s live-action Cowboy Bebop series is created by Andre Mac and Jeff Pinkner from a script written by Christopher Yost (Thor: Ragnarok) and Javier Grillo-Marxuach. It will star John Cho as Spike Spiegel, Mustafa Shakir as Jet Black, Daniella Pineda as Faye Valentine, Alex Hassell as Vicious, and Elena Satine as Julia.
Cowboy Bebop is a co-production between Netflix and Tomorrow Studios, with Michael Katleman and Alex Garcia Lopez directing all 10 episodes which wrapped its production in New Zealand last May. The live-action series will also include original anime composer Yoko Kanno, who is returning to create the soundtrack.
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The anime ran for just 26 episodes and one special in the late 1990s and later had a feature film, Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, released in 2001 and set during the series instead of serving as a follow-up.