Adapting anime into live-action is always a risky move, especially when that anime is cult favourite Cowboy Bebop. Ahead of the premiere of Netflix’s live-action adaptation of the series, John Cho has spoken out about his hopes and fears starring as intergalactic bounty hunter Spike Spiegel.
Speaking to Vulture, the actor revealed that one of his biggest concerns is the inevitable comparisons with Shinichiro Watanabe’s anime. “The biggest fear is that I was too old. I knew people were gonna have issues with my age. And I had to get over it… I was gonna look different than a 25-year-old guy. At some point, the opportunity is ‘Yes or no – do you wanna do it?’ And I did wanna do it. So I wasn’t gonna stop myself from doing it.”
Before signing onto the show, Cho said that he actively didn’t want to create a scene-by-scene remake of the original series. “I didn’t want to do that artistically, and I also thought that that was a recipe for encouraging unflattering comparisons. How could you do it better? You can’t. You have to do something a little different,” he said.
He also commented on getting the original composer of the anime, Yoko Kanno, to handle scoring the show. “I didn’t think the show should go forward without her involvement. (She is) too integral to the show. Our iteration minus her would suffer too much.”