3 Arts Entertainment producer Erwin Stoff (The Matrix, I am Legend, Kings) has told the iFMagazine.com website that the live-action Cowboy Bebop film in development will not be an origin story. “We start with [the main character, bounty hunter Spike Spiegel], when he is in his present life already.” He also emphasized that the producers began the project by meeting with Shinichiro Watanabe, the director of Sunrise‘s original Cowboy Bebop science-fiction anime series. “He will be the first guy to read a script when it’s done. We’ll discuss directors with him.”
First, we’ve already mocked Keanu Reeves being cast as Spike in a previous podcast, so there will be none of that here.
Second, the involvement of Watanabe is somewhat promising, but I’m not going to hope too much. The way Hollywood scriptwriting works, by the time it gets shot it will have passed through so many hands and revisions that it’ll probably be virtually unrecognizable from the first draft–which is what Watanabe is essentially getting. Word is the story is loosely based on the concept of Red Eye in episode 1, which makes me wonder how they’re going to get the rest of the cast in (Faye? Ed?) and also the stuff about Vicious and especially Julia.
Third, if they can’t pull this one off, it probably means no Hollywood anime adaptation can ever work–because Cowboy Bebop is really the most Western-friendly anime that could be easily adopted in live action and still have an audience beyond anime fandom.
Fourth, lastly, and most importantly–EPIC FAIL if Yoko Kanno doesn’t write the music. Period.