Netflix's Cowboy Bebop EP Explains What Makes the Adaptation Work

Cowboy Bebop first hit small screens in 1998, and for many fans, its story continues to hold up to this day. Following the crew of the Bebop -- Spike, Jet, Faye, Edward, and Ein -- the anime showed a group of bounty hunters traveling throughout space and trying to make money off the wanted criminals they went after. To no surprise, the life of a bounty hunter is dangerous, especially with the likes of The Syndicate, a deadly criminal organization having a dark history with Spike and hunting him and his Bebop crew.

Now, over two decades later, Cowboy Bebop and its wily crew are returning to the small screen in a live-action Netflix series. While some changes have been made to suit the new medium, the premise is the same, with many of the anime's original characters returning. During the red carpet premiere event, one of the show's executive producers, Becky Clements, talked with CBR about adapting the fan-favorite anime to live-action.

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CBR: What about Cowboy Bebop made you guys think this is an anime that would work perfectly for live-action?

Becky Clements: The character development. The spirit of the anime has a very clear concept of people searching for something else in their lives. They have secrets. It's always very good to have characters with secrets when you make a live-action show. Yoko Kanno's music to have come into a live-action and have her participation in the live-action made it easy. Then there's the procedural side of the bounties and very colorful antagonists. For me, as someone who makes television shows, it had so many elements already baked in, and just in the end, how can you not love it? Great entertainment value, so we felt lucky.

So many people are a fan of the anime, so what's gonna hook them in with this version?

I think the fact that we are respectful of the original. We had many department heads who were massive fans of Cowboy Bebop. It was one of the criteria of how we hired people and put them into the show, from the writers to the art department, to editors, to anyone involved. Many people came to the project as massive fans of the anime, so we knew they would hold on to the integrity.

RELATED: Why Hollywood Should Hire Yoko Kanno to Score Its Films

When it comes to Cowboy Bebop, it's been around for decades. Why do you think it's able to resonate year after year, all the way up till 2021?

I think because it is such an entertaining show. There's an entertainment value, the camaraderie between the trio, and how strange the antagonists are. We're living in a strange moment in the world, and I think it sort of resonates with that.

One of the things that stands out to me about Cowboy Bebop is the relationships. Is there a dynamic in this that you were most excited to see brought to life by these actors, and which one was it, and why?

It was wonderful to watch John Cho turn into Spike Spiegel. As I've said before, John had a lot of Spike Spiegel in him. He's such a bright cool guy, but he was very committed too -- from wardrobe to performance -- to really toe that line between a colorful, funny guy, but also a guy with a lot of demons.

KEEP READING: Cowboy Bebop: New Image Shows Another Side of Vicious

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About The Author
Caitlin Chappell (510 Articles Published)

Caitlin Sinclair Chappell is a writer turned editor at CBR. What started as a love for comics, film and television turned into a career after graduating with honors from Lewis & Clark College. Along with her work for CBR, she edits the in-development comic series Half-Dragon, and she read her short story, "The Kabbalist and the Golem," at the 2021 National Queer Arts Festival. Beyond writing and editing, she was the Film School Director at River Way Ranch Camp and the Assistant Director on the play Famous. She can be contacted at [email protected], and her social is @comiccookbook.

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