American live-action remakes of anime series’ always elicit a well-deserved side-eye from a lot of folks, not least of all for something as beloved as Shinichiro Watanabe’s Cowboy Bebop. When Netflix revealed the main cast for their adaptation—John Cho as Spike Spiegel, Danielle Pinada as Faye Valentine, and Mustafa Shakir as Jet Black—suspicion turned into cautious optimism, with original composer Yoko Kanno’s return to score the new show taking that optimism a step further. Could live-action Cowboy Bebop actually turn out to be good?
Judging from the first photos Netflix released today, that answer might just be yes.
Outfits and set design look spot-on, authentic to the original without necessarily being an exact copy-paste (which often doesn’t work, when you’re adapting from animation to live-action). There’s the tease of some iconic moments (a bloodied Spike walks through a church…), some nice group shots (and Ein’s there, too!), John Cho looking frankly amazing as Spike. But most of all, even just a series of stills puts the unique personalities of the main trio on full display, and how well the cast has managed to step into these roles.
Netflix also confirmed the premiere date for its Cowboy Bebop adaptation: November 19. Here’s hoping it lives up to all the promise contained in this photo set, because, against all odds, this American-made live-action adaptation of one of the most acclaimed (and deservedly so) anime series of all time might just get it right. I can’t wait to see how the handle Mushroom Samba.
In the meantime, the three months between now and November 19 is plenty of time to watch the original series a few times over. You won’t find it on Netflix anymore (at least, not in New Zealand—I’m not sure about other regions), but it’s still available to stream through Funimation, albeit for Premium users only.[Images via Gizmodo]