MTV's Movie Blog recently spoke to Keanu Reeves about plans for the Hollywood adaptation of popular (in North America at least) sci-fi western anime Cowboy Bebop. According to Reeves, Cowboy Bebop currently revolves around expanding the anime's first episode, "Asteroid Blues," into a two hour movie, with producer Erwin Stoff minding the project at 20th Century Fox. “We’ve got the rights, we’ve got a writer,” Keanu explained. “He’s putting together a scene outline.”
“Oh yeah, cool,” he said when I asked him about the flick recently. “We’re trying to do that.”
As fans of the Japanese classic TV series know, “Bebop” follows a crew of bounty hunters traveling around the universe in the year 2071. Reeves hopes to play Spike Spiegel, one of these futuristic cowboys forced to pick up the slack after a population crash and hyperspace gateways have left law-enforcement unable to capture many of the galaxy’s most ruthless criminals.
“It’s got a Western quality, a Western film noir aspect to it,” Reeves said of why he’s such a big fan of Shinichiro Watanabe and Keiko Nobumoto’s groundbreaking series. “It’s got so much style to it, and that’s part of its appeal. That kind of Old West, bordertown, low-tech science fiction aspect.”
Take a look at this clip and you’ll get an idea of why Reeves is not only a perfect-looking fit for Spiegel, but also why he thinks the most important person on the set will be the one trying to translate the series’ unique look. “I think that would be a production designer’s dream,” Reeves said of the flick. “I think you just need a good production designer.”
The 26 episode Sunrise tv series and BONES movie followed a hard luck cadre of bounty hunters in the waning days of wild west period of solar system wide colonization: haunted but slick ex-gangster Spike Spiegel, grizzled veteran ex-cop Jet Black, gambler/femme fatale Faye Valentine, incorrigible hacker Ed, and data dog Ein.
Combining artful homages to Western media, inventive direction from Shinichiro Watanabe and eclectic music from Yoko Kanno, Cowboy Bebop won over many fans when it was released on DVD by Bandai Entertainment and aired on Adult Swim.
If you're a fan of Cowboy Bebop looking for something simular in anime, check out Baccano
...I will hunt him down and kick him in the balls myself. Also, a Bebop movie based on Asteroid Blues? Are you kidding? I loved the episode, but a Bebop movie should be based on Spike's arc, not a stand-alone episode.
the roll of Spike demands some very subtle emotions going on under that placid demeanor. Also, does anyone else tear up a bit whenever they watch the last episode of the series? No, just me? fine . . . .
I just couldn't take seeing that. Hasn't every movie studio learned that Keanu is the Reeves that CAN'T act??? Cowboy Bebop should not be made into a live action movie, but I guess Hollywood doesn't care what the fuck they rape to get a dollar(Dragonball, any other jap remake.)
If that FUCK-ALL-TOE-HEAD Reeves were in my flat right now, talkin about how he's interested in playing (MOTHAFUCKIN) Spike in a Bebop film adaption, I'd cut that stupid, talentless mothafucka till the lifeforce drained from his expressionless man meat. I LOVE COWBOY BEBOP a FUCKING LOT and FUCK that stupid PIECE OF DUMB ASS FLESH to talentless FUCKING UWE BOLL HELL! UWE is calling for him,... 'talentless piece of fuckin dumb ass flesh meat,... star in MY stupic, waste of time whatever it is I'm next doing!' LEAVE MY SACRED BEBOP ALONE YOU STUPID MAN MEAT!
Is Keanu going to systematically fuck up all the things I love? Hellblazer, The Day the Earth Stood Still & now the coolest anime ever made? Shit, why doesn't he just cast himself as Yojimbo and have done with it?
Why should it matter if someone makes a movie of something you love. IGNORE IT!!! and enjoy it the way YOU WANT. Fuck guys. And all this 'RAPE' shit, calm the fuck down... Has the new TDTESS effected how good the original is NO! so shut up and just fuck off you negative cunts.
It's not the fact that a live-action Cowboy Bebop movie is being made that's got everyone so riled-up- it's been planned for years- it's the fact that with Keanu in it, it's bound to be mediocre as hell that's the killer.
the thing is, these could be an amazing movie if done right. and from his track record it's guaranteed that keanu will eff it up.
and how could it be done right? let me send you my 50 page outline.
just kidding about the outline.
Ok, thats fine but empty whines are utterly pointless. Who would you guys place in the role of Spike. Now thats would be a constructive talkback.. Who would be good for the production design. That kinda thing...
if he's perfectly happy pidgeonholing himself in matrix type movies forever.
he would have been fine in it 15 years ago. time to move on and give the part to a younger, poofy haired semi asian guy. i'm sure the talkbackers can come up with one. and yeah, it's an overrated anime.
Just wondering who people think would fit the role better? I personally think Keanu has the look but not the personality, but can't think of anyone else who has the look at least.
Anyway, just as long as it has music by Yoko Kanno - that's the main thing.
And for those people who can't see why Cowboy Bebop is one of the most likeable anime made - watch episode 5. Truly one of the finest eps of anime I've seen. The series is immersive and never loses its sense of humor. And the ending is perfect.
And the reason they're doing Asteroid Blues is because 1) It has all the exposition necessary to get a naive audience into the world, and 2) Because they're thinking of this as a franchise. They'd be stupid not to.
(Copied and Pasted from the Zone/& Written about a two years ago)<p>
Spike: Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I swear he'd be perfect as Spike. Third Rock from the Sun proved he could do the snarky thing; he's got the rake-thin physique, coupled with mysterious dark looks; and Mysterious Skin proved that he was also one hell of an actor.<p>
Jet: Laurence Fishburne. I know, I know, there'd probably be a load of Michael Clarke Duncan as Kingpin style racist bitching, but Jet is jet-black in all but skin-colour. Larry would be perfect.<p>
Faye Valentine: Carla Gugino. She looks the part, and I KNOW she'd play the bitchy temptress to perfection. Yeah, I'll stick with her.<p>
Ed: THIS is the toughie. I wouldn't go for a child actress personally. Just take anyone, put 'em on ketamine, and they'll do the job.<p>
Vicious: Ken Watanabe.<p>
Julia: Naomi Watts
Mortal Kombat was created by two ameican computer geeks. Where were you when it appeared first as a computer game!?
<P>Secondly. Love or hate Speed Racer, it was pure anime translated to the screen the best it ever has been...yet.
You know what's really starting to annoy me about Hollywood? The way it sees a popular brand and makes a turd out it, knowing the name alone will suck people in.<p>There's already been a GREAT Cowboy Bebop movie and it was called.... Cowboy Bebop: The Movie. It came out in 2001 and will remain the definitive Cowboy Bebop movie long after this is gathering dust at the bottom of bargain bins around the world.
that sometimes actors and directors say shit just to come on here and laff till they shit themselves over the TB response to their 'announcement.'
I'll wait and see on this. Doesn't suck until it sucks.
In unrelated aside: did The Day the Earth Stood Still do like 3 million then fold like cheap patio furniture?
For Spike? I think CHRIS EVANS would have been ideal. Ignore the misery of FANTASTIC FOUR, in which he's the only character even remotely watchable. He shows his dark side in SUNSHINE and clearly has the cocky swagger and physical abilities to play Spike. Sadly, it is not to be...
Frankly, I'm a little worried that Keanu and Erwin (his longtime manager) will try to get Mr. Lawrence attached as director, since Erwin reps him as well. On the surface its an obvious choice, but Bebop really needs someone who can handle CHARACTERS...which is the main reason that show was so transcendent.
...Faye's giant anime boobs are a crucial part of her personality. Seriously. Casting for giant boobs would be a mistake of course, and Tomb Raider style rubber falsies would be even worse. I say cast the right actress and computer animate those babies right on top like Davy Jones' tentacle beard...so they can defy gravity and bounce around as the anime gods intended...
Reeves doesn't have the charisma to pull off Spike. You need an able actor like Clive Owen to play Spike. Not that Owen would be my choice. I'd suggest Scott Weiland if he can muster some acting chops. Maybe Timmy Olyphant? It would be a dream to cast this movie and have everything fall into place. GL!
Whoever said Karl Urban! That's another good choice. Or maybe Leo DiCaprio. You need to pick someone that is insanely cool; there aren't many actors like that. Besides Clive Owen, there's Chow Yun Fat, Thomas Jane somewhat and Michael C Hall. But I wouldn't pick those guys for Spike.
If your playing it straight and stylish:
Get Park Chan Wook-(Oldboy) or
If your going to go over the top and campy: Get Stephen Chow-(Kung-Fu Hustle) or
Edgar Wright(Hot Fuzz)
The trailer alone would be worth the price of admission with any one of the above at the helm.
Keanu Reeves is a good all around actor. Most of his movies make good bank. I will see it.
Keanu Reeves also will make this a bigger budget movie and even if it does flop it will look good in HD for a one time movie.
...I'll never understand. Like a guy above me said, different strokes for different folks. As far as I know, Japan makes great electronics (though S. Korea is neck and neck with them), cars, and more recently, steel (as in smelting and I-beams).
But thanks to Speed Racer he'll probably never be associated with another live action anime again. Keanu is looking old to me though, older than Spike anyway. Only on Talkback would someone insist on saying CB is overrated. Chunkhead.
I always pictured the characters in Cowboy bebop as adults. Upper 20s at the youngest, barring Ed of course. Anime characters tend to skew younger, but in movie form it would work better with adults.
My Top 3 picks would be:
Spike: Jared Leto, Keanu Reeves, Billy Crudup,
Jet: James Remar, Ron Perlman, Mickey Rourke
Faye: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Grace Park, Maggie Q
Ed: Depends on how they cast it, they go with a tomboyish teenager rather than a tween. My vote for older casting would probably be Ellen Page, younger would be better though, I'd say Christina Robinson( Aster on Dexter)
If they can give Depp anti-grav coifs like Scissorhands and Sweeney Todd, then it's good enough for Keanu, dammit. I never even really WATCHED Bebop and I understand how important it is that it gets made right.
for starting keanu down this path. now he's ruining all the comic and anime properties he could get his hands on. first hellblazer, now this. i wish he would just stay still and let a real actor do these properties justice.
Spike is supposed personify Charisma and Cool. Not monotone. Oh god this is worse than that retarded attempt to bring Macross to the screen.<BR><BR> Even if they go with Keanu, it will be so hard to cast Faye. You have to buy all of the sides of that character... innocent girl with an erased past *and* a con artist, annoying *and* likable attitude, sex appeal *and* intelligence <BR> That has to be a hell of an actress to pull that off.
Also, this isn't going to lend itself to movie format. So much of that show was in the serial nature of it all.
we're fucked folks, no two ways around it. Rothman's got his filthy fucking paws on the greatest goddamned anime ever made and he's <i>going</i> to turn it to shit. to everyone who'll bitch me out about "not waiting till it's released" i ask you to name me the top ten movies of the last five years. how many were made at Fox? quick, now list the ten most geek-hated films of the same period, and guess what, damn near all from that fucking shithole. if WB were behind it, i'd have at least some semblance of faith, but we're fucked on this one. the 5.1 DVDs of the complete series are at Best Buy for $40. treasure them, show them to your friends, and tell anyone who says "that looks cool" exactly what they're not seeing. our only hope is that this goes to development hell long enough for the rights to free up(or for Fox to come back under competent leadership), and given how hard DragonBall's gonna bomb(and you know this as well as i do) the odds are good that the accountants that run Fox will be shit-scared of "anime movies" for the next decade.<br>
fuck you. i can dream.
I would much prefer David Tennant in the role to Keanu, but I'm okay with Keanu in this. I'd also be cool with Jared Padalecki in the role. I know I'm crazy, but I could live with Zachary Quinto as Vicious. I'm still picking my brain for an actress worthy of playing Faye. The film would need a different name than "Cowboy Bebop" though. And there absolutely should not be ED in the film.
by Guy Who Got A Headache And Accidentally Saves The World
I want the sleepy sounding lazy badass Spike as voiced by the japanese guy, not the "Heeeey I'm a COOOL guy" dipshit job the american voice actor pulled, and I can't think of any other american actor off the top my head who could do that better than Keanu.
Keanu Reeves as Spike is like Tom Cruise as Lestat, it's just wrong. I like Joseph Gordon-Levitt for the role, and they need to find someone with the look of Kristen Stewart as she was in Panic Room for Ed. Alfonso Cuarón or Guillermo del Toro should direct. I think that none of the major studios can be trusted with a property of this nature, they see an anime with space ships and think blockbuster for stupid people. Cowboy Beebop, unlike the vast majority of anime out there, or media in general, actually has serious literary merit and needs to be treated as such.
i really like joseph gordon levitt and carla gugino. although it's already been said above, clive owen has the perfect demeanor for spike.
<br>lawrence fishburne would be pefect for jet. i also think michael chiklis could do it.<br>
as for those who don't get anime... the is the only anime series i've ever followed. i didn't think i would like it till i sat down and watched it. sorry about the whining above, but it was a visceral gut reaction.
Spike is about 20-27 in the story arc in terms of his body. In terms of actual age you add 5 years. Hey he died once already ..DUH
Spike is based on a popular Japanese character- who was in his twenties!!
Klatuu is as old as me way too fuckin' old to be Spike.
Spike could take Bruce fuckin' Lee.
Spike is young, tough and shits nails.
Neo is an old fuck now.
I actually saw an old photoshop somebody did with Keanu as Morpheus in Sandman. And I actually think he could pull that one off if they could figure out a way to make it a good movie without completely fucking it up. Make Keanu's eyes black, give him that otherworldly sheen, and he could actually play the role pretty well - someone who, on the surface, doesn't have a lot of emotion, resistant to change, but is going through a lot on the inside. I think he's actually at the maturity where he could do it. It would never happen, though.
Keanu is too old, I'm not has rough on the guy as most posters here are but he's too old by about 10 years. I'm liking the Joseph Gordon Levitt suggestion. but he's gotta work out though. Charisma Carpenter would have been a good Faye, but she's a little too old too now, whoever said Ray Winstone as Jet hit the nail on the head he would be perfect.
Is the correct choice for Spike. Also, if they only make one movie then basing it off Asteroid Blues is a massive waste of great characters and back story. You would have to think they are wanting to make a bunch of movies if they are going to make the first one based on Asteroid Blues.
YOU FUCKING LOSER! YOU CLOSETED BAD EXCUSE FOR AN ACTOR! Keep you filthy hands AWAY from Cowboy Bebop! It's hard enough trying to stop one anime from being american-dumbanizated (Evangelion), you want to ruin this as well? And why the FUCK did you have to post Baccano here too? Now those sumb motherfuckers in Hollycrap will know it exist! IF YOU DO THIS, MR REEVES, I WILL MAKE SURE YOU DIE A HORRIBLE DEATH!!!
Perfect pitch to sell... and Wachowskis are the only ones I'd trust with good anime adaptations, seein they are big enough fans and 'get it'<p>
Any flaws in Speed Racer were in the concept and series itself, if you can't buy into hyper-kinetic car-fu, don't shit on the the most perfect adaptation of any existing property to date. Speed Racer proves Wachowskis will be best to adapt Cowboy Bebop.
Keanu decent in three movies- Bill & Ted (the first one- second one was too goddamn awful to even register) where he played a convincing moe-tard, The Gift- where he surprisingly did a good job portraying an abusive redneck, and Thumbsucker- the quirkiest I've seen him. I can honestly say that he's been nothing but absolute crap in everything else I've seen- with the all-time worst being that serial killer movie he was in (The Watcher?). He needs to be practicing actual facial expressions in smaller roles and indie films and he should stop pretending that he can carry these huge budget sci-fi pictures- against the backdrop of explosive cgi action his whole cardboard I'm-not-here routine is like watching the hottest mind melting porn- then some old nude prego grandmother walks into the scene and you're sitting there with the world's limpest dick in your hand. Stop ruining the sci-fi money shots Keanu. You suck.
As much h8 that has been generally brought down on Stuart Townsend around these parts, I think he'd do a good job as Spike. Then you could cast his girlfriend Charlize Theron as Faye. Get Sir Ridley Scott to direct but just instruct him not to make Spike a replicant or ditch any narration track... And I'm serious. Regardless of the box office, Townsend did a good job as Lestat and he was good as Kolchak in the re-imagining of *Night Stalker* which I wish would be released on Blu-ray. Hell, he'd make a good Doctor too.
this, i would pay to see. if there's anyone who could do it right it's them, and given that they've worked with Watanabe before(Animatrix) they'd at least have the good fucking sense to get his blessing on the project. and whilst Keanu would be utterly wrong as Spike for every reason listed here, he could actually do a pretty good Vicious. and as much as i love the Goddess Gugino, she's too old for Faye(especially the flashbacks). in her prime she'd have been perfect, but not now. i hate to say it, but Scarlet Johanson might be interesting(Faye has to look good, whine a lot, and convincingly pull off angry, coniving, and sad, it ain't THAT hard a role). Micheal Chiklis or Ron Pearlman for Jet, Dakota Fanning or the girl from Tideland could both pull off Ed(yes, Ed needs to be a kid and no, she does not need to be in the first movie. you need her to subvert the established serious tone of the first four crew members). honestly, i got nothin for Spike, Levitt's evidently doing good work, so why the fuck not.
Oh, yes there is! And it's being handled by Steven Spielberg no less. I'm sorry to say that this worries me somewhat.<P>I've not watched much anime. Most of what I've seen is total garbage. However, I do hold AKIRA, COWBOY BEBOP, and GHOST IN THE SHELL (original film and SAC) in relatively high esteem. In fact, I think GHOST IN THE SHELL is fantastic stuff.<P>And as hot as a cartoon character like Faye Valentine might be, there is no one hotter than Major Motoko Kusanagi. Personally, I think she would be nearly impossible to cast.
Aren't we forgetting one of the most important things about Cowboy Bebop.<P>If they were smart they'd get Kanno onboard as composer.<P>While I wish this film wasn't happening, I agree that that Joseph Gordon Levitt would be excellent as Spike.
James Franco as Spike. He already has the physical conditioning done, his humor is just as dry and even tempered as Spike's delivery, and the man looks like him.
Trust me, James Franco is the best choice.
Ed = that little girl from the Game Plan.
Jet = Samuel L. Jackson or Vin Diesel.
Faye Valentine = Carla Gugino, bitches. Get your heads on straight, how did you not already pick she of the black hair, hard-boiled noir pedigree, and gorgeous ta-tas?
..to the unitiated i say "it's a space western if shot in 1966". That's the feel i get when i watch it. And yes, the music is a giant part of what makes Bebop Bebop, so they need to either keep the original composer or hire someone who can ape it.
Kusanagi, in the TV series anyway, is insanely hot. She had sort of androgynous look in the movie that, while probably more realistic, left you wanting more. SAC decided she was going to be all woman, and I think that was a very.... very.. good decision :)
Come on, don't adapt an episode, but expand the universe a bit more, like the Knocking On Heavens Door movie did. If you cannot be completely original, then go on and build on something that is already there, don't remake. Bunch of lazy Hollywood ass clowns. Come up with your own fucking stories or just quit making movies.
Seeing how Mugen == Spike and Fuu= Faye nearly completely, with Jet not matching up so well with Jin, except that they're both the traditionalists and logical/lawful archtypes ( Jet, ex cop; Jin the Bushido disciple ) it sounds like you're trying to rattle people's cages :)
Which one did you see first? I saw Bebop first and through that Champloo was interesting, but the more "pop culture" and hip-hop jokes didn't register with me. Since they're both done by the same studio, i couldn't fault them too much for reusing the characters.<BR><BR>
They're obviously different in their own ways too... both series were enjoyable.
Warcraft - Believe it or not, I don't believe any of those women are hot enough to play the Major. Rhona is close in terms of her physique. But I just don't think she has a commanding enough presence.<P>MurderMostFowl - agreed. Make no mistake, in SAC Motoko Kusanagi is ALL WOMAN!<P>I've said this before - I think the key to pulling off Kusanagi is the voice. It's not enough to find an actress with a killer body. You've got to have someone with a sense of maturity and sophistication that also gives off a sense of command and genuine presence.<P>Now, some purists would probably bitch about the need to cast someone asian for the role. That's fine...but since her body is prosthetic and her name is an anagram, I don't think it's a requirement. That being said, I still can't think of a single actress who could pull her off. Spielberg may have to have ILM or WETA render her as a CGI character and then hire Mary Elizabeth McGlynn to provide the voice...
You are absolutely correct. They will either screw us out of Faye, Ed and Ein or butcher the episode, take your pic. The apologists of course will say that it's only "based on" the episode. The same pansy ass excuse that the suckups use to defend Hollywood writers. In addition to that, its a bit of dull episode. There are plenty of better episodes to choose from. Bebop works well because it is an ensemble cast. It's not just Spike it's the whole cast. They're just going to screw it up if they tinker with chemistry.
I still think Matthew McConaghey would be better.
Also something worth mentioning in the Anime Column-The original voice of Meowth in the "Pokémon" dub, Maddie Blaustein, died at age 48 this week of natural causes. She was known as Adam until she became transgendered, but still continued voice acting.