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The Bebop has found its crew.
John Cho will topline Cowboy Bebop, Netflix’s live-action take on the influential space Western anime, featuring castmembers such as Luke Cage actor Mustafa Shakir, Daniella Pineda (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) and Alex Hassell.
Alex Garcia Lopez, who has helmed episodes of Daredevil, Luke Cage and Cloak and Dagger, will direct the first two installments of the 10-episode series. Christopher Yost wrote the first episode.
Showrunning and executive producing are Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg of Midnight Radio, the banner behind the shows Limetown, High Fidelity and Knightfall.
Cowboy Bebop is described as “the jazz-inspired, genre-bending story of a ragtag crew of bounty hunters on the run from their pasts as they hunt down the solar system’s most dangerous criminals,” working from their spaceship, Bebob.
Cho will play Spike Spiegel, whom the streamer has described as “an impossibly cool ‘cowboy’ (bounty hunter) with a deadly smile, a wry wit and style to spare. He travels the solar system with his ex-cop partner, Jet, pursuing the future’s most dangerous bounties with a combination of charm, charisma — and deadly Jeet Kune Do.”
Shakir is playing his partner, Jet Black, “one of the few honest cops in the solar system before an ultimate betrayal robbed him of all that he loved, forcing him into a vagabond life of hunting bounties to put food on the table. Jet is an inveterate jazz enthusiast and captain of the Bebop.”
Pineda is playing Faye Valentine, an amnesiac thief and con artist, while Hassell is Vicious, Spiegel’s ex-partner who is now out to kill him.
Shinichiro Watanabe, who directed the original anime, is a consultant on the series, which first aired in Japan in 1998, spawning a manga and film before coming to America in 2001, where it developed a major cult following and unleashed a wave of anime.
Other executive producers include Marty Adelstein and Becky Clements of Tomorrow Studios (Hanna); Yasuo Miyakawa, Masayuki Ozaki and Shin Sasaki of Sunrise Inc.; Tetsu Fujimura; and Matthew Weinberg.
Cho, who stars in an episode of Jordan Peele’s The Twilight Zone, is coming off an acclaimed performance in the film Searching, which yielded him an Indie Spirit Award nomination, and The Oath. He has two movies in the can: Tigertail, a love story from Alan Yang that will stream on Netflix, and a remake of The Grudge.
Cho is repped by UTA, 3 Arts, and Morris Yorn. Shakir is repped by Gersh and Robyn Bluestone Management. Pineda is repped by UTA, Kirsten Ames Management and Schreck Rose. Hassell is repped by Gersh, Magnolia Entertainment and United Agents.
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Santa Barbara International Film Festival