Netflix has dropped an official release date along with our first look at the upcoming live-action adaptation of Cowboy Bebop. In development for years, the project has been a long time coming, and various production delays certainly haven't helped matters. Fortunately, we now know when we're getting the series, as Netflix has announced that it will premiere on Nov. 19, 2021. You can check out the first look photos of the new series below.
Based on the popular 1990s anime series of the same name, Cowboy Bebop is a sci-fi western that shares a similar plot to the original anime. It follows a team of bounty hunters tracking down criminals throughout the solar system, yet they have issues in outrunning their own dark pasts. Christopher Yost and Javier Grillo-Marxuach served as co-writers on the 10-episode Netflix series that was developed by Andre Nemec and Jeff Pinkner.
Cowboy Bebop stars John Cho as Spike Spiegel, a Mars-born bounty hunter that leads the group; Mustafa Shakir as Jet Black, Spike's ex-cop bounty hunter partner with a cybernetic arm; Daniella Pineda as Faye Valentine, an indeed woman who spent 54 years in suspended animation; Alex Hassell as Vicious, Spike's power-hungry nemesis; and Elena Satine as Julia, a mysterious woman from Spike's past with whom he has a complicated romantic history. The series also stars Geoff Stults as Chalmers, Tamara Tunie as Ana, Mason Alexander Park as Gren, Rachel House as Mao, and Ann Truong and Hoa Xuande as twin enforcers Shin and Lin.
The production process of Cowboy Bebop was tumultuous, so it's got to be good news for everyone involved to have a release date on the board. Even before the pandemic, the project suffered a big blow when Cho was struck with a knee injury during production. This set back filming by about eight months so the actor could properly recover, though this would be smack dab in the middle of the pandemic. Filming officially wrapped in March, but we haven't gotten our official first look until now.
"You've seen him in comedies. You've seen him in dramas. The guy can do anything," Grillo-Marxuach previously said of the movie's lead star, via io9. "To see John Cho bring his wonderful mastery of acting to this character, and then also to see the level of physical preparation that he's done for this, is stunning."
He added: "[Co-writer] Chris Yost and I wrote this on a notecard and tacked it up to our whiteboard in the room. His motto for Spike Spiegel was always: Spike Spiegel is super f**king cool. Is he tortured? Yes. Does he have a lot of tragedy in his backstory? Yes. Is he somebody who's not the most sort of effusive with his emotions kind of guy? Yes, you know this. But he's super f**king cool. So, I think more than anything else, Spiegel's super f**king cool. John brings that to it in spades."
Well, okay then. In any case, the live-action adaptation is going to be worth checking out for fans of the anime along with fans of Cho. Cowboy Bebop will premiere on Netflix on Nov. 19, 2021.