The countdown to the premiere of Cowboy Bebop, the Netflix live action adaptation of the popular anime series, next month continues. The full official trailer for the ten-episode series has just been released by the streaming giant. As previously stated, the original anime series debuted in 1998. It’s a space western about a group of bounty hunters aboard the Bebop. Cowboy Bebop received critical acclaim and became a cult classic in part because of its striking visual style and strong thematic elements.André Nemec is the Netflix series’ showrunner, having previously worked as a writer and producer on Alias as well as the 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film.
Shinichir Watanabe, the original anime series’ director, is a consultant for the new show. Production was delayed in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also because star John Cho (Star Trek, Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle) suffered an injury on set, necessitating a flight from New Zealand to Los Angeles for surgery. Spike Spiegel, a bounty hunter born on Mars with a history of violent gang activity and a penchant for fistfights, is played by Cho. Vicious, Spike’s former partner, is now a power-hungry Capo gangster from the Red Dragon Crime Syndicate, played by Alex Hassell (Suburbicon).
Daniella Pineda (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) plays Faye Valentine, a bounty hunter and con artist who spent 54 years in suspended animation following a space shuttle accident. Jet Black, the captain of the Bebop and Spike’s ex-cop bounty hunter partner with a cybernetic arm, is played by Mustafa Shakir (Luke Cage). Elena Satine (Revenge) plays Julia, a stunning femme fatale who has captivated both Spike and Vicious as rivals for her love. Last month, Netflix released the opening credits for its live-action series, which paid homage to the original anime opening credits (see this side-by-side comparison) and were set to the original theme music.
“Thank you!” (performed by Yoko Kanno and the Seatbelts). We even saw Ein, who was played by an adorable Welsh Corgi named Henry. That was all well and good, but then the streamer posted a short skit set to “Tank!”—despite the fact that Kanno had joined the project to compose a new score for the live-action series. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and it appeared that Netflix was going a little overboard with the fan service. According to Gizmodo’s James Whitbrook, “this official full trailer opens with a brooding shot of Spike surveying the futuristic city of New Tijuana.” “So, what brings you back from the dead?” asks Ana (Tamara Tunie, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit). She runs an underground jazz club on Mars, and she acts as Spike’s surrogate mother.
“A week ago I did a job, a bounty,” he says, accompanied by a partner who has no idea who Spike used to be. Everything is very moody and neo-Chandler-esque, set to a sombre jazz motif. The “Tank!” theme then plays as we see Jet Black piloting a spaceship. “If the cops and bounty hunters don’t catch you in this solar system, the Syndicate will,” Spike says in a voiceover.
“There isn’t going to be a happy ending here.” We get hints of Spike’s doomed romance (“I was dreaming”), martial arts action, and a blood-splattered, cocky Faye proposing a partnership with a 60/40 split (in her favor, of course). And, of course, we get a few more shots of Henry, our favourite Corgi. But who are our merry band of bounty hunters? The good guys or the bad guys? “It depends on who you ask,” Spike says.Cowboy Bebop will premiere on Netflix on November 19, 2021. Will Netflix be able to put its own spin on this beloved series? We’ll have to wait and see what happens.
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