Live-Action Cowboy Bebop TV Series Coming to Netflix


Earlier this week Netflix announced that they would be expanding their anime library in 2019 with the addition of some classic shows including Neon Genesis Evangelion. But they also had another big surprise in store for anime fans, one that is sure to be somewhat divisive: they are developing a live-action series based on Shinichiro Watanabe’s highly influential 1998 series Cowboy Bebop. A live-action movie had been talked about for years with Keanu Reeves once rumoured for the lead role, but budget issues supposedly killed it. Hit the jump to find out what we know about the new adaptation.

According to Variety, Netflix has placed a 10 episode order for a live-action Cowboy Bebop series. The project is set up at Tomorrow Studios, who are also developing shows based on Snowpiercer, Hanna and Let the Right One In, among other things. Christopher Yost (Thor: Ragnarok) is writing while original anime director Shinichiro Watanabe is involved as a consultant.

The original anime series ran for just 26 episodes and follows a ragtag crew of bounty hunters aboard a spaceship in the year 2071. It is known for drawing from many different genres including sci-fi, western and film noir. Although Netflix’s recent live-action adaptation of Death Note wasn’t all that well received, the fact that this is a series instead of a movie seems to be a good thing. They are also developing a new live-action series based on Avatar: The Last Airbender as well. Do you have high hopes for a live-action version of Cowboy Bebop?

  • Lisa Naarseth Myklebust

    Live action Cowboy Bebpop? You mean Firefly? Cause that’s exactly what it is.

  • Nobody

    I love the show, so I’ll at least check this out even though I’m not expecting a whole lot. I suppose it may translate to live-action easier than other animated shows in certain respects, but Cowboy Bebop took great advantage of the medium (right down to the character designs) and I have a hard time believing this new show will recapture what people loved about the anime. At the very least, hopefully it will create some new fans of the original series.

  • Haha! Nice try but no. Cowboy Bebop has more than silly western style scifi pop action. It has a distinct Japanese influence with emotional yakuza drama in space, crazy hackers plus there’s episodes that have unique and clever references to movies like Alien, and there’s even some horror thrown in an episode to add some fun surprises. The main character Spike even fights in the same style as Bruce Lee which makes him a total badass. I don’t think live action can ever capture all of that perfectly. I’ll probably check out the remake but won’t expect much.

  • Lisa Naarseth Myklebust

    There’s no “try”. I know because I have seen Cowboy Bepop myself, so no need to explain what it is. And they are extremely similiar. Firefly is very heavily influenced by Cowboy Bepop. They are both a mixture of Western and Sci-Fi. They both are about a gang of bounty hunters that are partly criminal (even the set-up of the gang and of different characters and their roles, are somewhat similiar). They even share some very similiar instrument notes here and there.

  • What about the epically composed Yoko Kano soundtrack? I had that box set on cd and I listened to it more than the Kill Bill soundtrack. There was even a live concert with Yoko Kano and the Seatbelts for the soundtrack. I’d never thought I’d appreciate Jazz at all until I listened to that music. Can you say anything like that about Firefly? I don’t think so.