According to Variety and Deadline, a live action adaptation of classic sci-fi anime Cowboy Bebop is in the works for the American television.
The project will be produced by Tomorrow Studios, a partnership of ITV Studios and producer Marty Adelstein, who is known for Teen Wolf and Prison Break: Resurrection. The studio is teaming up with Sunrise, the legendary studio behind the adventures of the space bounty hunters, and Midnight Radio to bring the influential anime to the small screen in a version that many fans are fearing that it will be too similar to one of the most beloved (and cancelled) sci-fi series, Firefly. The adapted plot will be written by screenwriter Christopher Yost (The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Thor: The Dark World, Thor: Ragnarok)
Jazzy and influential Cowboy Bebop was a joint effort between several anime industry heavyweights: Director Shinichirō Watanabe, screenwriter Keiko Nobumoto, character designer Toshihiro Kawamoto, mechanical designer Kimitoshi Yamane, and composer Yoko Kanno. The first 12 episodes aired in Japan in 1998 with the rest of the episodes later broadcast by WOWOW due to its controversial adult-themed content. The full 26 episodes follow a group of bounty hunters traveling in a spaceship called Bebop. It is set in the year 2071 and explores philosophical concepts including existentialism, existential ennui, and loneliness. Sunrise followed up the anime with a film, Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, in 2001.
After the controversial fan backlash on the live action Hollywood and Netflix adaptations of Ghost in the Shell and Death Note, it remains to be seen how the fandom will react to these news. Unlike a movie though, a TV series will have more time to redeem itself throughout its course. If this adaptation has half the charm of Firefly and retains its blues-jazz-rock soundtrack, then the only thing it needs to become a success is good directing and a smart cast. It already has the story.