Cowboy Bebop Live Action Formally Announced -

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Cowboy Bebop Live Action Formally Announced

By Chris Beveridge     January 15, 2009
Source: Anime News Network

Keanu Reeves is set to play Spike in COWBOY BEBOP (slideshow)
© Mania

Via reports from  Mainichi Shimbun and, it's been confirmed that Sunrise has announced that the live action version of Cowboy Bebop is going forward with Twentieth Century Fox along with production company 3 Arts Entertainment. As previously discussed since the project first came to light in 2008, Keanu Reeves is set and excited to take on the role of Spike in it. On the behind the scenes side of things,  Joshua Long is being brought on as the production supervisor while Erwin Stoff is also attached. From the Japanese side, there are a number of associate producers that are being included as well which bodes positively. Sunrise President Kenji Uchida along with , the original Cowboy Bebop director Shinichiro Watanabe and the series script supervisor Keiko Nobumoto.

What it's about: The crew of the Bebop is once again ready to take control of space; bringing bad guys to justice and trying to make some cash while doing it. Join the always-cool Spike, investigative genius Jet, the fabulous Faye, the amazing (but weird) Ed and the super-smart Welsh Corgi named Ein as they try to make a buck in the year 2071. How do they do it? They're bounty hunters!


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DarkXid 1/15/2009 8:09:14 AM

Is it April 1st and nobody told me?  WTF?!

xenomorph 1/15/2009 8:35:20 AM

And another great anime is destroyed. Way to go fox!

Derahk 1/15/2009 10:25:10 AM

I'm actually excited about this one, to my own amazement. I would have went with a fit Vince Vaughn or maybe even a fit Will Ferrel for Spike, but Keanu can pull the physicallity off nicely. I hope his real life energy and personally shine through in this film, instead of his overly dramatic poses and poise.

So what do you think?

Faye = Anne Hathaway

Jet = Sylvestor Stallone or JK Simmons

Ed = Always the go to Dakota Fanning/Abigail Breslin

TigerPrime 1/15/2009 12:21:03 PM

God I hope you're kidding Derahk....

I always thought a live-action Bebop could be pretty cool if done right. not it. At least not casting Keanu "I just played an emotionless alien so well because I am an emotionless alien" Reeves. I got all excited when I saw the story title and then I felt the knife go in.

On the bright side, at least they've got the original creative team working on it. With the original director and script supervisor on board we'll hopefully get a good story. Now we just have to see if Fox F's it up by completely mis-casting it, which it looks like they're well on their way to doing.


br003 1/15/2009 1:16:48 PM

It could work sorta.. I'd cast some unknowns though. Don't like big actors changing things to suit them and not taking from the source material.

gauleyboy420 1/15/2009 11:43:03 PM


I like Keanu, and so do millions of other movie goers. He's a better actor than everyone posting on this site. And He'll play a kick ass spike. Spike is a pretty mellow dude anyway, I don't see what the problem is.





Dazzler 1/16/2009 4:45:28 AM

I never watched the show but it looks right to me with Keanu.  Maybe Will Smith should do this one also. 

fenngibbon 1/16/2009 5:45:37 AM

 I'm not wild about Keanu either, but he does physically suit the role.  I don't know if he can project the easygoing cynicism I always associate with Spike, though.

Could have been worse:  they could have cast Ben Affleck.

I'm trying to think of the rest of the cast, and nothing's coming to mind.  Well, Robert Duvall for Jet, though he might be too old.  

animefanjared 1/16/2009 7:10:16 AM

Cowboy Bebop is my favorite anime franchise, and I am definitely NOT looking forward to this movie.

Although I do agree that "Bebop" would translate to live action far more believably than something like Dragonball (and we don't have to worry as much about Americanizing it because the original show was already heavily influenced by the West), I think Keanu Reeves is a *terrible* choice.  He cannot act, and will likely substitute dull stoicism for Spike's laidback and playful cynicism.

The only thing that will be mildly entertaining will be to see which actress they sign to play Faye.

galaga51 1/16/2009 9:03:50 AM

Spike switches between playing it cool with a wry smile, gliding through combat like water and occassionally bursting with serious fits anger and aggression. With Stoff pushing this, I can easily see how Keanu came on board, and as Spike is a very physical role many actors just aren't going to cut it. I can understand the frustration at casting Keanu as his acting is rather stoic, but his roles are rather stoic. He hasn't been in many playful roles since Ted, but a moment (though brief) shines through in dojo scene of the The Matrix. While there is reason to be hesitant and maybe someone could do a better job, I am not without hope for the guy. So go ahead and keep your expectations low; maybe you will be pleasantly surprised.

In the series Jet and Faye do not seem to get up close and personal when it comes to melee quite as often, but they need to be fairly skilled in hand and gun combat as well. Additionally, faye needs to be H-O-T on the outside and have a bit of fire inside of her as well; she only seems relaxed when she's taking a shower or absolutely exhausted.  Likewise, Ed's role is very physical and will need to be played by a boyish young actress with at least some tumbling skills.

Bebop is also my favorite anime series, but I think the benefit to anime and animation as a whole is worth the risk. From all of the articles I have read on this so far, it seems that everyone is taking this translation VERY seriously, from understanding the tone of the series (see previous articles) to working with the anime director and script supervisor... Hell, I'm having a hard time keeping my expectations low.

Last word, again... Tank!

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