Film and TV

Cowboy Bebop’s live-action adaptation will hit Netflix this year (with the original composer’s tunes)

Spike Siegel and his motley crew of intergalactic bounty hunters will be bopping their way onto Netflix to the tunes of Cowboy Bebop’s original composer when the live-action adaptation is released later in 2021.

At long last, Cowboy Bebop fans have just got their first glance at the cast of the upcoming live-action Netflix series. Well, kind of. They’re not in costume or anything, but it’s our first time seeing the gang together in a behind-the-scenes preview of the show that was released as part of Netflix’s ‘Geeked Week’.

The sneak peek into the making of the adaptation also came with two major announcements. First of all, a release window – while we don’t have an exact date, the series is set to premiere this fall (translation: spring for those in the southern hemisphere) on Netflix.

John Cho as Cowboy Bebop
Image: @NetflixGeeked / Instagram

The second noteworthy reveal was the confirmation that the show’s original composer, Yoko Kanno, will be returning for the live-action series. Cowboy Bebop‘s unusually jazzy score stands apart from the typical anime sound, with Tank! often being considered one of the greatest anime theme songs, so Kanno’s return makes even more bebop tunes a certainty.

These are both very relevant and important details for anyone waiting to watch the series, but they’re not what seems to have caught the internet’s attention the most. Rather, the focus of discussion on Twitter seems to be John Cho’s hair – to be fair, they have done a pretty impressive job of capturing Spike Spiegel’s luscious locks.

Joining Cho (Star Trek) to complete Spike’s ragtag crew of intergalactic bounty hunters will be Daniella Pineda (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, The Vampire Diaries) as Faye Valentine, and Mustafa Shakir (Brawl in Cell Block 99, Luke Cage) as Jet Black. Alex Hassell (Suburbicon) will be joining them as Spike’s rival Vicious (who doesn’t appear in the teaser video).

The live-action Cowboy Bebop series was first announced in 2018, with the cast of bounty hunters being revealed all the way back in 2019. While Cho’s freak on-set knee injury that year shut down production, with the impacts likely being exacerbated by widespread filming delays due to the pandemic in 2020, it seems that the show is well and truly on its way to our screens now.


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The new Netflix adaptation will be based on the original anime series, which only ran for one season, but has since become a must-stream anime series. While the anime ran for 26 episodes, Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop is currently set to receive only 10; although it’s possible that this number will increase – depending on if Netflix chooses to order more seasons.

The series has been created by André Nemec and Jeff Pinkner, who have worked together on shows like Alias. It will be directed by Alex Garcia Lopez (Daredevil, The Punisher, The Witcher) and Michael Katleman (Primeval, The Last Ship).