With John Cho (Spike Spiegel), Mustafa Shakir (Jet Black), and Daniella Pineda (Faye Valentine) bringing Cowboy Bebop to full-on, space-adventuring life on November 19th, the Netflix series will be playing a major role in this weekend's global fan event Tudum from Netflix (trailer?). But until then, how about a look at the official key art poster for the series? Because that's what we got on Friday morning, with Spike, Jet, and Faye clearly too busy to pose. Not when there's a bounty to be had…
Showrunner André Nemec and Cho discussed what fans can expect and what went into bringing the anime to live-action life, courtesy of EW's Fall TV preview:
Nemec Wants Fans to Know They Can Relax: While referring to the Netflix series as "an expansion to the canon" that will "add things" to the show's universe, Nemec wants fans to know that it will in no way take away from the original. "I promise we will never take the original anime away from the purists. It will always exist out there. But I'm very excited about the stories that we're telling. I believe we've done a really nice job of not violating the canon in any direction but merely offering some extra glimpses into the world that was already created." In fact, Nemec sees the anime as giving them the opportunities to not just expand beyond what's on the page but also further explore what's already there. "We got under the skin of who the live-action characters were going to be. I think that the poetic nature of the anime absolutely allowed for us to mine the archetypal nature of the characters and dig out deeper histories that we wanted to explore — and answer some of the questions that the anime leaves you with. I think to just redo the anime will leave an audience hungry for something that they already saw. The anime did an amazing job. We don't need to serve the exact same meal. I think it would have been disappointing if we dis," he explained.
Cho Did Some Deep Development with His Spike: Revealing that he developed Spike's walk after numerous episode screenings, Cho explained that adapting Spike from page to screen because "in terms of animation style, I found that there was a limit to where I could go with how the character was supposed to behave on a moment-to-moment basis." That gave Cho the opportunity to flesh out Spike more based on how he believed the character would react in various situations, with the actor explaining, "I had to blend in my own thoughts and ultimately leaned mostly on our scripts. At some point, you have to play the scenes that are written. You're in a scene, you're in episode 5, and you just have to play the circumstance and the character as you've built it."
Just So There's No Confusion? Spike's Hair Was Never Going to Be a Wig: "I just really disliked the idea of a wig. Have you ever worn one? I'm just so aware of wigs," Cho explained. "I said, 'I really want it to be my own hair.' It was a kind of a struggle to grow it out. It went through some really awkward phases." Nemec confirmed that last sentiment, laughing as he added, "I definitely watched him have to tie it back and try to figure out how to manage it before we got him back in the chair."
Cho, Pineda, and Shakir are joined by Alex Hassell (The Red Sea Diving Resort; Suburbicon), Elena Satine (Strange Angel), Geoff Stults (Little Fires Everywhere, 12 Strong), Tamara Tunie (Black Earth Rising, Dietland), Mason Alexander Park (Hedwig and the Angry Inch National Broadway Tour), Rachel House (Thor Ragnarok, Soul), Ann Truong (Strikeback!, Hard Target 2), and Hoa Xuanda (Ronny Chieng: International Student, Top of the Lake) on the streaming service's live-action series.
Welcome to the World of Netflix's Cowboy Bebop!
Spike Spiegel (Cho): Spike Spiegel is 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.
Jet Black (Shakir): Jet Black was 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.
Faye Valentine (Pineda): Faye Valentine is a bold, brash, and unpredictable bounty hunter. Suffering from amnesia after years of being cryogenically frozen, Faye does whatever it takes to survive. Whether she's lying, stealing, or just being a thorn in Spike and Jet's side.
Vicious (Hassell): A man who thoroughly enjoys a good kill, Vicious is the Syndicate's most notorious hitman. He's also Spike Spiegel's ex-partner and arch-enemy.
Julia (Satine): With a sultry beauty and a voice to die for, Julia is the dream-like object of Spike Spiegel's desire. She struggles to survive in a violent world.
Chalmers (Stults): Chalmers is the epitome of a Western lawman. He is also Jet Black's former co-detective in the ISSP's Homicide Division. He wears a chronic smile that makes you want to punch him square in the face… especially Jet. And that's only partly because Chalmers is dating his ex-wife these days.
Ana (Tunie): Ana is the proprietor of the hottest underground bluesy jazz club on Mars. And while she acts as a surrogate mom to Spike, there is nothing warm and cuddly about her. Cool and intense, Ana is definitely not a woman to be trifled with.
Gren (Park): Gren is Ana's right-hand person. They run the front of the house for Ana's jazz club. As capable with their wit as a Glock, as confident in a dress as a suit, they are a Bowie-esque embodiment of 22nd century handsome and seductive beauty.
Mao (House): Mao is the Capo of the Syndicate's "White Tigers" family. Despite, or perhaps because of, her blue-collar background, Mao is more cunning, adept, crafty, and deadly than her counterparts.
Shin (Truong) & Lin (Xuande): Dressed to kill (because they do), Shin and Lin serve as Vicious' twin Syndicate henchmen. Despite being fearful of their volatile boss, they are fiercely loyal to Vicious in his quest (for reasons we have yet to understand) to take down Spike Spiegel.
The series is a co-production between Netflix and Tomorrow Studios (a partnership between Marty Adelstein and ITV Studios), with André Nemec and Jeff Pinkner of Midnight Radio serving as showrunners and executive-producing. Christopher Yost (Thor: The Dark World, Thor: Ragnarok) wrote the first episode and will executive produce. In addition, Josh Appelbaum and Scott Rosenberg of Midnight Radio (Limetown, High Fidelity, Knightfall); Adelstein and Becky Clements of Tomorrow Studios (Snowpiercer, Hanna); Yasuo Miyakawa, Masayuki Ozaki, and Shin Sasaki of Sunrise Inc; Tim Coddington, Tetsu Fujimura, Michael Katleman, and Matthew Weinberg will executive-produce. Original anime director Shinichiro Watanabe serves as a consultant. The writing team includes Nemec, Yost, Vivian Lee (Lost in Space), Liz Sagal (Sons of Anarchy), Karl Taro Greenfeld (Ray Donovan), Alexandra E Hartman, Sean Cummings (Everything Sucks!), Javier Grillo-Marxuach (Lost), and Jennifer Johnson (Designated Survivor). As for directors, the ten episodes will be split between directors Alex Garcia Lopez (Daredevil) and Michael Katleman (Zoo).