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Beloved anime Cowboy Bebop is getting a live action remake

This better be good

Cowboy Bebop is a monumental anime that first debuted in 1998. Shinichiro Watanabe’s series, which became a world-spanning cult classic, follows the story of bounty hunter gang Spike Spiegel, Jet Black, Radical Ed and Faye Valentine as they jet around the galaxy hunting down notorious criminals. It has a banging soundtrack, and the coolest cyberpunk aesthetic. Now, the iconic film is set to get a live-action remake.

Netflix announced the planned adaptation yesterday (November 28), with original director Watanabe on board to consult. According to Variety, it will include 10 episodes. Having Watanabe involved makes things feel a bit more positive, in a world where live-action remakes have meant awfully unfaithful or rehashed works and tonedeaf whitewashing fiascos

Rumours of a live-action reboot have swirled for years – Keanu Reeves was previously attached to a remake and was reportedly meant to star as Spike Spiegel in the later 00s. In a 2013 Reddit AMA, Reeves said: “Cowboy Bebop does not look like it is going to happen with me in it, adding that the script was “great and amazing”, but a new version would “cost like a half a billion dollars to make”.

Netflix has been and is working on several live-action adaptations of huge anime movies and series. Last year, the streaming platform dropped horror series Death Note with Nat Wolff, Willem Dafoe and Lakeith Stanfield. A version of Avatar is also in production. Most live-action anime remakes haven’t yet proven very popular with fans though – the Ghost in the Shell movie was criticised for whitewashing its main character, and Bleach and Fullmetal Alchemist received widely negative reviews.

Earlier this month, Netflix announced it was partnering with some Japanese studios to produce 17 new Asian original productions including five new anime series. One is Altered Carbon, exploring other parts of the original book’s universe not included in the live-action show, adapted by Dai Sato who worked on Cowboy Bebop. Other Netflix productions include Cagaster of an Insect Cage (based on a manga about people turning into insects) and Trese (based on a Philippine graphic novel about a girl facing off with criminal supernatural creatures). Many of these are expected to debut in 2019.

Cowboy Bebop, in the works since last year, has no official release date yet.