After years of delays, prolonged by on-set injuries and a global pandemic, the live-action reboot of Cowboy Bebop finally hit Netflix screens in November, only to be cancelled less than a month into its release.
While Netflix didn’t offer an official explanation for the cancellation, the show was watched for a staggering 74 million hours in its first week, before dropping 59 per cent in viewership. On Rotten Tomatoes, the show received mixed reviews too, with 47 per cent from critics and 58 per cent from fans.
But this hasn’t stopped Bebop stans from taking matters into their own hands. An online petition on Change.org has garnered over 100,000 signatures, reflecting the live-action’s dedicated legion of fans.
“For those people who want a second (or more) of the live action Cowboy Bebop. It wasn’t a direct copy of the anime but the world they put together was amazing and deserves a second season,” wrote Ryan Proffer, the fan who started the petition.
Following news of the cancellation, co-executive producer Javier Grillo-Marxuach took to Twitter to voice his disappointment: “I truly loved working on this. It came from a real and pure place of respect and affection. I wish we could make what we planned for a second season, but you know what they say, men plan, God laughs.”
With original director Shinichiro Watanabe at the project’s helm, and a new intergalactic score courtesy of OG Bebopcomposer Yoko Kanno, the live-action was initially slated for success, with John Cho telling Screen Rant about his hopes for the second season: “I hope to get weirder and darker. I always hope that for some reason. I also really want Spike to be happy. This season was rough for him. I did feel a lot of sympathy pangs for him. So I hope he has a moment of happiness.”
As petition numbers grow by the minute, perhaps it won’t be long until Netflix takes note and we can confidently say: See you soon, space cowboy.