Cowboy Bebop is back in a brand new medium, but at a glance, you might not even notice the difference. On Saturday, Netflix revealed the opening title sequence for the live-action adaptation of the beloved anime series. It is practically a shot-for-shot remake of the original animated title sequence, this time with A-list actors playing the parts.
Cowboy Bebop is one of the most iconic anime series of the late 1990s - and the early-2000s in the U.S., as it began airing on Adult Swim at the time. The melancholy sci-fi story is arguably best-known for its opening credits, which feature a jazzy tune called "Tank!" by Yoko Kanno playing over a retro sequence full of silhouettes and sliding frames. Now, that's the way many fans were introduced to John Cho's take on Spike Spiegel. Netflix showed the live-action title sequence on Saturday as part of its TUDUM virtual fan event.
Cowboy Bebop is set in a future where humanity has mastered interplanetary space travel and colonized most of the solar system. It centers around a small team of bounty hunters - Spike, Jet Black (Mustafa Shakir) and Faye Valentine (Daniella Pineda). The three travel the solar system looking for criminals in a spaceship called the Bebop.
The original series gradually revealed that Spike has a dark past in the criminal underworld, and that his former partner there is now his nemesis, Vicious. Vicious will be played by Alex Hassell in the live-action adaptation, while Elena Satine will play Julia, the woman who came between them in the past.
The adaptation will be a Netflix original series, but it is pulling in some big names and talent behind the scenes to make sure everything goes right. According to a report by Variety, Makoto Asanuma, Shin Sasaki and Masayuki Ozaki will produce for Sunris Inc. while Marty Adelstein and Becky Clements will produce for Tomorrow Studios. André Nemec is executive producer and showrunner, along with EPs Jeff Pinkner, Josh Appelbaum, Scott Rosenberg, Tim Coddington, Tetsu Fujimura, Michael Katleman, Matthew Weinberg and Christopher Yost. The director of the original animated series Shinichirō Watanabe is a consultant on the adaptation.
Fans have been skeptical of the live-action treatment for Cowboy Bebop since the project was announced, and many still are. However, a few on social media said that the title sequence was enough to finally fill them with a cautious optimism. They won't have to wait much longer to see if that trust was misplaced - the live-action Cowboy Bebop premieres on Friday, Nov. 19 on Netflix.