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The live-action 'Cowboy Bebop' showrunner has assured fans that the series will follow canon. Despite widespread concern, can the series beat all odds?

Will live-action ‘Cowboy Bebop’ actually be canon?

We are probably all worried as much as we are excited about the upcoming live-action Cowboy Bebop series. After such a perfectly crafted anime series like the 1998 Cowboy Bebop, it seems almost impossible that a revival can capture the original’s emotion, style, and nuance. 

While plenty of opinions on the upcoming live-action remake have been made clear, showrunner André Nemec assured fans that the live-action Cowboy Bebop will not only be canon but also “dig out deeper histories” of our favorite characters. Meanwhile, John Cho has also recently expressed his efforts in faithfully reviving the eternally sleek Spike Spiegel.

Showrunner promises to not violate series canon

“I promise we will never take the original anime away from the purists. It will always exist out there,” Nemec says. “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.”

Nemec has confirmed that the live-action revival will work as an “expansion to the canon,” and explained that the series will “add things” to the original anime’s narrative. 

“We got under the skin of who the live-action characters,” he revealed. “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.”

He added, “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 did.”

It became clear to Nemec that Spike was a character of few words but still held a world of sorrow. Nemec detailed that Spike’s character is laconic “but that laconic nature underscored a darker past and a bit of pain”. He remarked, “If you really break it down in the anime, he’s a cowboy with a broken heart who really likes to gunsling and pretend nothing’s wrong, but there is something wrong.”

John Cho unveiling his inner Spike (and luscious locks)

“People were texting me, ‘FYI, your hair is trending on Twitter.’ I did think it was a joke,” Cho told Entertainment Weekly. “After multiple texts, I looked, and literally it was trending on Twitter. I couldn’t believe it. I have no idea how to feel about it.”

One of Spike’s most quintessential features is his plentiful hair, yet John Cho demanded that he will not be wearing a wig. “I just really disliked the idea of a wig. Have you ever worn one? I’m just so aware of wigs,” Cho said. “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.”

Aside from the hair, John Cho also discussed the struggle of portraying a character with minimal visual guidelines. He mentioned that unlike Pixar’s animation with endless facial expressions & gestures, the classic anime was of course not as detailed. Joe said, “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.”

“I had to blend in my own thoughts and ultimately leaned mostly on our scripts,” he continued. “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.”

Even if the live-action Cowboy Bebop is canon, will it still satisfy diehard fans? Cowboy Bebop will be premiering on Netflix this November 19th. Let us know your thoughts on the upcoming live-action series in the comments below!

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