After a seemingly endless torrent of delays for one reason or another, the live-action Cowboy Bebop series from Netflix has officially completed filming its first season. Apparently, the vengeful spirits constantly trying to hinder production finally took a day off.
Actress Daniella Pineda, who will star in the show as Faye Valentine, posted a selfie in a Cowboy Bebop t-shirt on her Instagram after a hiatus from the platform with the caption, “I’m coming back on the air to say…..Season 1 of COWBOY BEBOP is finally, finished.” Shortly after, Deadline reported that Netflix had confirmed the news, allowing eager fans a sigh of relief knowing the highly anticipated live-action adaptation was finally moving forward.
After being announced all the way back in 2017, Cowboy Bebop has seen delays due to injury and the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing excited fans of the anime to wait even longer before seeing a proper live-action version of the cult classic show. John Cho, set to play series lead Spike Spiegel, suffered a knee injury in 2019, resulting in a substantial setback in production after several episodes had already been filmed. Then, in 2020, the pandemic shut down production again, only for New Zealand to grant the series permission to continue safely filming in September.
Cowboy Bebop follows a motley group of bounty hunters as they take odd jobs and just try to get by on their spaceship known as the Bebop. Aside from Cho and Pineda, the series will also star Mustafa Shakir as Jet Black, fellow bounty hunter and crew member of the Bebop. Shakir recently played Bushmaster on Netflix’s Luke Cage, displaying a powerful and intimidating performance that makes him perfectly suited to play the former cop-turned-mercenary. Other cast members include Alex Hassell as Vicious and Elena Satine as Julia, two characters with deep connections to Spike’s past. Cowboy Bebop‘s eclectic cast of characters certainly seems to be in line with the similarly diverse group of personalities shown in the anime.
Some may scoff at the idea of an anime adaptation, particularly of a show that so many hold in such high regard. Given the rather lackluster performance of similar attempts, at least outside of Japan, it’s not difficult to see where those concerns might be coming from. However, it’s worth noting that Cowboy Bebop is very much an anime for people who don’t like anime, giving it much more widespread appeal than many of its peers. Its western influences are apparent from the first glance all the way to the last, making it what many consider to be a “gateway anime” that draws in viewers who might not have otherwise been interested in anything in the popular Japanese storytelling medium.
In fact, even Netflix seems to have high hopes for the series, as they’ve already greenlit a live-action adaptation of Yu Yu Hakusho, which is a decidedly less “western-friendly” series. So hopefully that means fans have a lot of good stuff to look forward to when Cowboy Bebop premieres sometime in 2021.
Cowboy Bebop is expected to be released on Netflix in 2021.