Cowboy Bebop: filming to restart in New Zealand

Posted Filed under

Netflix’s live-action series, based on the popular anime of the same name, has been struck by some huge setbacks…

Netflix’s adaptation of Cowboy Bebop has been sitting on the back-burner for a long while. John Cho, Mustafa Shakir, Daniella Pineda and Alex Hassell lead the cast, which is described as a “jazz-inspired, genre-bending story of a rag-tag crew of bounty hunters on the run from their pasts, as they hunt down the solar system’s most dangerous criminals” but back in October of 2019, Cho sustained a horrible injury to his knee on set, and production was put on hold. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic pushed filming back indefinitely.

Last week, we got some news that Cowboy Bebop had been granted New Zealand border exemptions to begin filming again, however. Deadline confirms that production should start back up in the coming months over there, but no official date has yet been established.

Jeff Pinkner, who is writing the series, hasn’t been too concerned about the show’s rocky road to date. He told the Observer that season 2 is already being planned out:

“I think that I’m very excited by our opportunity to take this iconic anime and bring it to life. I think that our actors are spectacular. The world that we’re creating down in New Zealand that we’re excited to get back to as soon as we can is a really fun, dynamic visualisation of this insane anime.

“I think that because we have these hour-long episodes, we have an opportunity to take the anime and sort of like just deepen and dimensionalise the source material. Really tell stories set in that world in a way that hopefully will not only delight the fans of anime but expose a whole bunch of new people to the world of Cowboy Bebop, the awesome work of Yoko Kanno. It’s a delight. It’s entirely different from Lost in every way but it’s been a joy.”

Cho, who is best known for his work in the Star Trek franchise and the Harold And Kumar movies, is set to play Spike Spiegel in the series, who is 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.”

Mustafa Shakir will play Jet, with Daniella Pineda portraying Faye Valentine and Alex Hassell cast as the villainous Vicious. Meanwhile, Shinichiro Watanabe, who directed the original anime, serves as a consultant for Netflix on the whole series.

We’ll keep you posted as we hear more.