'Cowboy Bebop' Live-Action Series a Go at Netflix

Cowboy Bebop - Photofest - H 2018
Courtesy of Photofest

Netflix is heading to space with a new group of bounty hunters.

The streaming giant has handed out a 10-episode, straight-to-series order for a live-action adaptation of famed anime entry Cowboy Bebop. The series was previously set up at Amazon Studios and landed at Netflix after the former passed on it. 

Based on the 1998 Japanese anime TV series from writer Cain Kuga, Cowboy Bebop was a worldwide phenomenon and is wildly considered one of the biggest series in the anime genre.

The live-action take tells a jazz-inspired, genre-bending story of Spike Spiegel, Jet Black, Fay Valentine and Radical Ed, a rag-tag crew of bounty hunters on the run from their pasts as they hunt down the solar system's most dangerous criminals. The Netflix series arrives as a live-action feature take starring Keanu Reeves has been toiling in development at Fox for nearly a decade.

The series is a co-production between Netflix and Tomorrow Studios, with the latter company — a partnership between Marty Adelstein and ITV Studios — taking out the live-action pitch for the project last summer.

Midnight Radio's Andre Nemec, Josh Appelbaum, Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg (Disney's upcoming High Fidelity TV series, Netflix's late and great Everything Sucks, CBS' Zoo) will serve as showrunners and exec produce alongside Tomorrow Studios' Adelstein and Becky Clements. Yasuo Miyakawa, Masayuki Ozaki and Shin Sasaki of Sunrise Inc. — the studio behind the original anime series — will also exec produce alongside Tetsu Fujimura and Matthew Weinberg. Christopher Yost (Thor: The Dark World, Thor: Ragnarok) will pen the first episode. Shinichiro Watanabe — who directed the original series — will serve as a consultant on the Netflix take.

The live-action Cowboy Bebop arrives as Netflix is making a massive push in the anime space, with series including cult favorite Neon Genesis Evangelion and new shows including 7Seeds, Ultraman, Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac, and others in both the TV and film space. The streamer has been heavily investing in the space as part of an ambitious push to build its subscriber base in Japan and with anime fans across the globe.

Cowboy Bebop joins a scripted roster at Tomorrow Studios that also includes TNT's take on Snowpiercer and Amazon's Hanna reboot. Netflix will oversee physical production on the series.