Cowboy Bebop Showrunner Talks Daniella Pineda, Faye Valentine Costume

With time ticking closer to John Cho (Spike Spiegel), Mustafa Shakir (Jet Black), and Daniella Pineda (Faye Valentine) bringing Cowboy Bebop to full-on, live-action life, Netflix series showrunner André Nemec is offering up some more details on the series. First up, we have a writing team line-up that includes Nemec, pilot writer Christopher Yost (Thor: Ragnarok), 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). "People would come in for interviews and for meetings with their old school Cowboy Bebop t-shirts on," Nemec revealed during his interview with Polygon. 'Everybody who worked on this show got the job because they were talented, and they deserved it, but everyone brought a certain level of fandom and reverence for the anime to the material that we did." As for directors, the ten episodes will be split between directors Alex Garcia Lopez (Daredevil) and Michael Katleman (Zoo).

cowboy bebop
Cowboy Bebop (Image: Netflix)

As for the issue that some "fans" have with the more realistic, more practical, less fetish costume that Pineda's Faye will be sporting, Nemec believes it's important to understand how Pineda is embodying the essential aspects of Faye's character. Regarding Pineda's audition, Nemec explained that "it became undeniable that she has this incredible effervescence, a quick wit, a wonderful charm, but she also has a kind of take-no-prisoners kick-him-in-the-teeth underbelly to her. She has a strength and power, even though she doesn't lead with that power. To me, that was what it meant to capture Faye Valentine."

As for the selections made for each of the three main characters costume-wise, Nemec notes that a lot of time and effort was put into finding the right balance between being faithful to the source material while also making practical sense (which included 20 different variations of Spike's suit). "We probably went through 50 different blues to find the blue of that [Spike's] suit that was the right fabric," Nemec revealed. "And we did that every single character. We figured out Jet's costume and what was going to feel right on Mustafa, to figure out how that arm would work. We did it with Daniella, put her in a dozen different designs, tweaked them a dozen different times until we landed on the one that felt like it was telling the story of that character in the best way possible for us." When asked why the change from Faye's "hot pants" look to full leather pants, Nemec didn't mince words: "If I never saw Cowboy Bebop, this tells me the story that this woman is a survivor." Which sounds like a nice way of saying that in a live-action, non-cartoon world? This was worked best for both Pineda and her on-screen alter-ego.

Back at the end of August, Pineda responded in an IG Stories post to address the complaints some had about Faye's revised look. "First, I wanted to apologize to the fans that I did not anatomically match the Faye Valentine character. Six foot, double-D sized breasts, two-inch waist. You know, they looked everywhere for that woman and they couldn't find her, it was kinda weird. So they just went with my short ass, I know, am I right?", the actress posted. And as for the issues with her outfit? Pineda had some thoughts on that as well, replying: "You know, we tried, but doing stunts in tissue paper, things disappear, they rip, sometimes just got lost… Anyway, like I was saying, that original costume, they made a couple of them, but like I said, they got sort of slurped up in my various crevices, never to be retrieved again, so we needed to build something that could withstand the test of time."

Cowboy Bebop offered some major casting news for the Nettlix live-action series (Image: screencap)
Cowboy Bebop offered some major casting news for the Nettlix live-action series (Image: screencap)

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.

A look behind the scenes of Netflix's Cowboy Bebop (Image: Netflix).
A look behind the scenes of Netflix's Cowboy Bebop (Image: Netflix).

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.

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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