Production has come to a close at last on the first season of Netflix’s live-action adaptation of the highly acclaimed space western anime Cowboy Bebop, as reported by Deadline. On March 10, Daniella Pineda (The Detour, American Odyssey), who portrays the sarcastic yet sensitive scammer Faye Valentine, revealed via her Instagram that filming on the series had only recently been completed, meaning it allegedly remains on track to meet its previously announced 2021 release date, according to io9.
View this post on Instagram
Production delays have plagued Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop since October 2019, when John Cho (Searching, Columbus), who plays the show’s laconic antihero Spike Spiegel, suffered an on-set knee injury that required surgery and rehabilitation, setting the production timeline back by over half a year, as reported by Deadline. This, in combination with an industry-wide shutdown resulting from the global COVID-19 pandemic, led to the release date pushback reported by io9 in June 2020. September 30, 2020 marked the first day the program’s cast and crew returned to work in New Zealand, according to Deadline. To date, the island country has reported a mere 2,432 cases of COVID-19, with only 26 fatal cases and a 95% overall recovery rate, via Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 Dashboard.
Cowboy Bebop chronicles the futuristic misadventures of a motley assortment of planet-hopping mercenaries: “A ragtag group of bounty hunters [goes] on the run from their pasts as they hunt down the solar system’s most dangerous criminals. They’ll even save the world– for the right price,” via Deadline. Shin’ichirō Watanabe (Space Dandy, Carole & Tuesday), the original creator of the anime, reportedly consults on the series, which was developed for Netflix by André Nemec (Zoo, Life on Mars) and Jeff Pinkner (Venom, Fringe), and penned by Christopher L. Yost (The Mandalorian, Thor: Ragnarok), as reported by Funimation’s official blog. Pinkner confirmed that season one of the live-action series consists of ten hour-long episodes, as opposed to the original anime’s twenty-six half-hour installments, via the Funimation blog post.
Despite the lack of confirmation of a renewal order, one of the Netflix series’ scriptwriters, Javier Grillo-Marxuach (The Shannara Chronicles, Lost) told io9 that he and other members of the development team are already preparing materials for season two. “There’s always going to be criminals to catch,” Grillo-Marxuach pointed out, via io9. His statement stands in stark contrast to Watanabe’s memories of his own process as the anime’s showrunner, where he allegedly walked into the project with explicit knowledge about where and how his original story would terminate. “Even before I made the first episode, I already had the ending in mind… I was opposed by my staff. They were upset because they were saying that we wouldn’t be able to make a continuation. So I told them I’d think about it a little more, but ultimately I decided to go with my original idea,” Watanabe recalled, via a 2006 interview with The Daily Texan.