Back in 2018, it was announced that beloved 90s anime Cowboy Bebop would be getting the live-action treatment. But the adaptation of Shinichirō Watanabe and Keiko Nobumoto’s cult classic hit some road bumps as John Cho, the actor set to play Spike Spiegel, had an on-set injury that delayed filming – and then coronavirus hit.
Now, the crew has received the green light to resume filming in New Zealand, given the country’s near-zero coronavirus status. “Our success at managing COVID-19 gives our country an opportunity to become one of the few countries still able to safely produce screen content,” New Zealand’s economic development minister Phil Twyford reportedly told film executives at Parliament. “And the inquiries and interest we are getting from international production houses tells me that the international film community sees New Zealand as something of a global safe haven.”
Cowboy Bebop follows Spiegel, an intergalactic bounty hunter, and his band-a-parte of cowboys, who chase down the solar system’s most notorious criminals and bounties in 2071. “Based on the worldwide phenomenon from Sunrise Inc., Cowboy Bebop is the jazz-inspired, genre-bending story of Spike Spiegel, Jet Black, Faye Valentine, and Radical Ed: a rag-tag crew of bounty hunters on the run from their pasts as they hunt down the solar system’s most dangerous criminals. They’ll even save the world…for the right price,” read an earlier press release.
Netflix will debut ten episodes of the Cowboy Bebop remake at a future, as-of-yet-unreleased date. In the meantime, watch the original anime’s band virtually perform the show’s theme song “Tank” here.