Don't Expect Netflix's Live-Action Cowboy Bebop to Be a Straight Remake

The Cowboy Bebop original is beautiful. It has a lot to offer. There are many reasons it has gathered legions of admirers since its debut in 1997. John Cho, the star of the live-action Bebop TV show, understands the problem with perfection. You can't duplicate it and you shouldn't.


Cho refused to sign up for the series after he found out that the live-action Cowboy Bebop episode wasn't going to be an exact remake of the anime. Cho spoke out about the matter in a Vulture interview. Cho said: We are not going to just remake every episode. I don't want to re-stage everything frame by frame. It was not something I wanted to do artistically. I also felt that it encouraged unflattering comparisons. What could be better? You cant. You must do something different.

He is absolutely correct. Duplication invites comparison. If the new show tried to imitate Bebop only, it would be just as bad as the original. The new animated series must be true to the original's best qualities: the characters, the premise and the tone, while still being its own distinct identity. It is fine to have new or modified storylines. Even though some anime fans may think otherwise, it is possible to find more meaningful, practical and still very sexy, outfit changes that are less ridiculous.

Cho is now 49 years old, and Spike Spiegel is only 27. Cho believes that this is a significant age difference and one that will help him play Spike better. Although I might have been more athletically suited, my skills are strangely better at this age. Spike would have been proud of the emotional depth I brought to it. There is always a compromise. Rage is what young men excel at being actors. That might have been a stronger element of the character. Being older is what I excel at: showing vulnerability, weakness, and love. These things are easier for me.

It's a fantastic interview. You can read the whole thing here. The live-action Cowboy Bebop series stars Cho, Mustafa Shakir playing Jet Black, Daniella Pinda playing Faye Valentine, as well as an adorable corgi named Ein. It will premiere on Netflix November 19.

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