Netflix announced that it was creating a Cowboy Bebop live-action adaptation back in 2018. Since then, Bebop fans have been searching the universe (ahem, the internet) for clues and insight into what to expect from the new series. Now, we are just a few short weeks away from Cowboy Bebop premiering on the streaming service and we finally have some real details about what Netflix's spin on the bounty hunters will look like.
For the uninformed, Cowboy Bebop is set in the year 2071, and Earth has become uninhabitable, leading the remaining humans to live in the vast, lawless, outer reaches of space. The original 1998 anime series centers on charismatic smart-mouth Spike Spiegel; his friend Jet Black, who is the captain of the Bebop ship; fiery con artist Faye Valentine; a young genius named Ed; and their hyper-intelligent dog Ein as they bounty-hunt for criminals across the cosmos.
What makes Cowboy Bebop a treasured space oddity even 23 years later is its genre-bending episodic format, seamlessly shuffling from an action-packed sci-fi comedy to a romantic drama. And we can't wait to see Netflix's rendition of this jazzy space Western.
With only a few months until we head to space with Spike and the crew, TV Guide has compiled everything we know about Season 1 so far.
The full-length trailer arrived in October, giving us a little more insight into Spike's (Cho) backstory and teasing the story arc for the first season. Our favorite sassy bounty hunter has some secrets and a dark past he'd like to keep hidden, but the action, cool tunes, and all the fun banter you expect from the anime is present in the two-minute clip.
To celebrate just a month left until Cowboy Bebop hits Netflix officially, the streaming service released a stylized teaser trailer that honestly should win some serious editing awards. It gives you a good taste of the Cowboy Bebop humor, action, and the mood shifts to expect from the upcoming series.
Feast your eyes on these jamming opening credits which debuted Saturday, Sept. 25 during TUDUM, Netflix's virtual global fan event. The sequence shows you just how much the live-action series is inspired by the anime and has us incredibly excited to see how the rest of the series is adapted. Let's jam!
Our favorite galactic bounty hunters will be cruising to our screens on Nov. 19. Most Netflix shows are released at midnight PT.
You can't have a sweet jam session without a scrappy crew. Helming this live-action remake is John Cho (Searching) as the perpetually broke but surprisingly woke "I love the kind of woman that can kick my ass" Spike Spiegel. Joining Cho in piloting the Bebop is Mustafa Shakir (Luke Cage) as ex-cop and fellow bounty hunter Jet Black, and Daniella Pineda (The Vampire Diaries) rounding out the trio as the sassy space grifter who suffers from amnesia, Faye Valentine.
Also announced: The Boys' Alex Hassell will play Spike's dangerous rival and notorious girlfriend-stealer, Vicious, while Elena Satine (Revenge) will play the mysterious, hauntingly beautiful woman from Spike's past, Julia.
Still missing from the cast lineup is the Bebop's youngest tech-savvy member, Edward, leaving fans to wonder if Netflix cut out this character entirely, or are planning to introduce her as a giant surprise later.
Netflix Geeked and the newly minted Cowboy Bebop Netflix Twitter account delivered us the most delicious of photos from the upcoming Cowboy Bebop series. Just from these stills alone, we can tell the costume design team means business by getting as close to the original anime looks as possible. I dare you to find a crew with better drip in outer space. Don't worry, we'll wait.
Without a full trailer yet, we don't know exactly what to expect, but fans are highly curious about whether or not the new series will keep original episode titles; the majority of the anime episodes were named after famous musicians, albums, and other pop-culture references. What we do know is that the team will stick as close to the original as possible, with some major narrative upgrades.
There will be collaboration and creative involvement from the original anime team.
Earlier this summer, Netflix Geeked posted a behind-the-scenes peek featuring the iconic "Tank!" melody, revealing that the anime's original composer, Yoko Kanno, would be back to enhance and create new music for the series. Also in the mix is Cowboy Bebop's anime director Shinichiro Watanabe, who served as a consultant to reboot showrunner André Nemec and co-writer/producer Javier Grillo-Marxuach.
The creative minds behind the new series want to reassure fans that the iconic series is in good hands. In an interview with io9, co-writer Karl Taro Greenfield said, "We ain't playing Bebop, Bebop is playing us. You can't look at Cowboy Bebop and say, 'Well, it's just a takeoff point, we're going to give them different hair and different clothing, and we're going to call it something different.' [...] If you're doing Cowboy Bebop, you're doing Cowboy Bebop. You know, it's kind of like doing Star Wars."
Episodes will be longer.
One of the things that make Cowboy Bebop so unique is the seemingly random and episodic nature of the series' run. Though the original anime features 26 half-hour episodes (called "sessions") and one feature-length film, the installments are loosely connected and self-contained, meaning a newbie could jump into any episode without risking too much confusion.
The Netflix series, however, will include 10 hourlong episodes, allowing each installment to have a richer and more expansive narrative, hopefully allowing a deeper dive into the Red Dragon Crime Syndicate and Spike's lingering torment in his relationships with Julia and Vicious.
Season 2 is in the works
Grillo-Marxuach also confirmed to io9 that writing for Season 2 is underway; with a team of bounty hunters and an entire universe to explore, "There's always going to be criminals to catch," he said.
Until then, we'll have to carry that weight…
Cowboy Bebop will stream on Netflix beginning Nov. 19. The original anime is available to watch on Hulu and arrives on Netflix in time for you to binge before the premiere of the live-action adaptation.