One of my all-time favorite anime series, the critically and commercially successful Cowboy Bebop, is in development to become a live-action television series. The series which is basically an action-packed and amusing outer space adventure series about bounty hunters that takes place in the future has a strong flavor of a film noir detective story as part of its appeal.
Cowboy Bebop, which takes place in 2071 in the original version, follows Spike Spiegel and his gang of bounty hunters, also known as Cowboys, as they cavort around the galaxy attempting to capture bad guys and survive some of the most intense dangers the galaxy has to offer. The anime series has been successful in Western markets and is credited with introducing a new wave of Western viewers to anime. It’s also widely cited as one of the best anime series of all time.
Cowboy Bebop already received the feature film treatment in 2001 with Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, which is set amidst the latter third of the 26-episode anime series and received mostly positive reviews from critics. In the same year, the original series became the first anime series to be broadcast on Adult Swim in the United States.
The live action version will be executive produced by Sunset Inc. — the studio responsible for the original animated iteration — as well as Midnight Radio, Marty Adelstein, Becky Clements, and Matthew Weinberg. Midnight Radio consists of Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, Jeff Pinkner, and Scott Rosenberg. Chris Yost will write the adaptation.
Yost’s name is an interesting inclusion in this story. He’s the writer behind such action-packed animated series as The Batman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2005-2008), The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, and Wolverine and the X-Men, the latter of which Yost co-wrote along with Craig Kyle, introducing the character of X-23 and spinning off a comic book series centered on her. He’s also turned in scripts for the live-action Max Steel movie, has an uncredited creation for X-23 in Logan, and has worked on the stories for Marvel’s last two Thor films, including the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok. Sticking with Marvel on the 20th Century Fox side of things, Yost was also recently assigned to write the Silver and Black script.
What does all this mean for a potential live-action Cowboy Bebop series? Ultimately, perhaps not much. Yost clearly has experience writing for animation and has dabbled in live-action for feature films, but his live-action TV series credits are non-existent as far as I can tell. Is Cowboy Bebop may prove too much of a challenge for him, and maybe not. Bebop is a show known for its music, style, dialogue, humor, and complex storytelling, Which all added up to a delightful mix which made the animated series so popular.
Of course, there are very few details at the moment, so it’s likely in very early stages and may never see the light of day. Fingers crossed, I have been waiting years for a good quality live-action version of this great series to happen. be seeing you Space Cowboy.