Is there hope for Keanu Reeves' adaptation of 'Cowboy Bebop'?

Associate Editor, News; Toronto, Canada (@Mack_SAnarchy)
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So everyone's inbox should have had the news this morning. Fox is going to go ahead with a live action adaptation of the much loved anime from Shinichiro Watanabe, Cowboy Bebop. And yes, Keanu Reeves will take the role of Spike Spiegel. You'll remember our collective gnashing of teeth in December.

As far as Hollywood people involved there is no director set for the project but Reeves' manager, Erwin Stoff, will be producing with 3 Arts. The script is in the hands of a short film director Peter Craig.

Now, here is where our hope lies folks. Sunrise president Kenji Uchida, the TV series' director of animation, Shinichiro Watanabe, and series writer Keiko Nobumoto will serve as associate producers. Series producer Masahiko Minami will serve as production consultant. This doesn't mean that I, myself, am breathing any easier but I'm not doing it into a paper bag anymore. Having some of the masterminds from the original project may just help retain of the charm and hip coolness of the anime. Fingers, toes and eyes are crossed.

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THR

voltronjonesJanuary 17, 2009 12:50 PM

Sigh. I will never stop loving the series, but knowing this movie exists could make me mad every time I watch the series lol. Like if you looked at a print of The Mona Lisa knowing some vandal stabbed the original in the face.

I think only a couple directors would have a chance of making this film work.

Luc Besson (think the scope of 5th element and the emotional investment of Leon)

The mutant Director offspring of James Cameron and Guy Ritchie. Hey James Cameron wants to do Gunm/Battle Angel, so he's down with anime.

and maybe Zach Snyder (assuming that Watchmen will be good)

even though he's too old, Robert Downey Jr is the only major actor I can think of with the swagger of Spike and a voice that would work, so maybe it's best to get an unknown with real martial arts skills and ability to show the turmoil under the water's smooth reflection would be good.

Keanu can't express the opposing feelings and thoughtful depth underneath his cool demeanor.

acoJanuary 17, 2009 4:12 PM

For me the problem is not Keanu Reeves...Because in a way he resemble Spike but I don't think he can give us the coolness of Spike's character...The problem is Fox itself they really stink when it comes to adaptation of anime... there latest ex...Dragonball and many other stupid past project...

Like voltronjones said we need a director that has passion for the anime itself and has a clear vision...

MikeJanuary 17, 2009 6:11 PM

We really just need to stop trying to force successful anime shows into being live action movies. There's no real advantage or benefit to it.

CuttermaranJanuary 17, 2009 9:41 PM

Only hope for that is, the project flops, so everybody will forget rapidly about that. Same with Speed... äh what was it called again?

DestooJanuary 17, 2009 10:06 PM

If they make the movie 'all style, no substance' then we have a winner.
If they stick to the original story, no.

James HadfieldJanuary 17, 2009 11:48 PM

I'm with Cuttermaran on this one. If it's crap, it'll just sink into obscurity in the way that at least 80% of the recent Hollywood versions of Asian films have. If it's even half decent, hopefully it'll get more people to give the anime version a try. Agreed that the whole exercise reeks of pointlessness, but I don't see it as an affront to the original either.

Rhythm-XJanuary 18, 2009 10:54 AM

Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner.

GeneJanuary 19, 2009 12:17 AM

Give it a chance, Anime community needs all the exposure. Can you imagine Matrix with Russell Crowe as Neo. If the movie happen to be decent it may bring quite a anime exposure.

RobertJanuary 19, 2009 8:23 AM

Hollywood hits again and again....

ChevalierAguilaJanuary 19, 2009 7:50 PM

"If the movie happen to be decent it may bring quite a anime exposure."

I can already see the results of that:

-A Trigun movie starring starring that guy who is banging Demi Moore
-Hellsing with Nicolas Cage as Alucard and Lindsay Lohan as Celes Victoria
-Death Note movie with the cast of High School musical
-Neon Genesis Evangelion, with Shia Lebouff as Shinji

The possibilites are so vast and so endless.

thekinginyellowJanuary 20, 2009 1:36 AM

@gene:
'anime exposure' really? anime (and manga) got a ton of exposure a few years ago. john ledford was featured in a forbes article and everyone (at the time) who was at adv (including me) was happy and productive.

http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2004/0906/178.html

back to the point. anime needs no more exposure than breathing air. it's out there and everyone knows it. concerning live action remakes of anime series...no effing way. that is the worst idea ever. there are certain things that can only work and SHOULD only work in animated format. hollywood just can't seem to let well enough alone. there is nothing that can make better or improve upon something that is already awesome. hollywood is a disease and a curse upon all that is sacred and good.

@chevalier:
i agree totally; the disease will spread. everyone will want to make live action anime versions with the latest pop star and bop magazine headshot heart throb.

sarkoffagusJanuary 20, 2009 1:55 AM

ChevalierAguila, stop giving these studio execs ideas! (Although I'm wondering about the DEATH NOTE adaptation with the HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL cast... maybe Zac Efron will accidentally write his own name in the notebook.)

Momo the CowJanuary 20, 2009 2:12 AM

Seems odd to me that nobody mentioned why this couldn't be Cowboy Bebop without Yoko Kanno on board.
Watanabe brought the cool to Cowboy Bebop, but Kanno brought the heart.

ChevalierAguilaJanuary 20, 2009 6:42 AM

"back to the point. anime needs no more exposure than breathing air. it’s out there and everyone knows it. concerning live action remakes of anime series…no effing way. that is the worst idea ever. there are certain things that can only work and SHOULD only work in animated format. hollywood just can’t seem to let well enough alone. there is nothing that can make better or improve upon something that is already awesome. hollywood is a disease and a curse upon all that is sacred and good."

It's a bit similar to people saying that remakes of good foreign movies will attract attention to the originals. Something which is not only far from true, why you have to make a (bad) copy or something in order to promote it? Why not promote the original? In this case, why not release more full lenght animated films from Japan in western theaters?

rebel_scumJanuary 20, 2009 8:01 AM

I shudder at the idea of Fox putting their hands on anything these days.