John Cho Will Star in the Live-Action COWBOY BEBOP Series

When it comes to the transference of an animated favorite to the medium of live-action, there is perhaps no bigger concern than casting. When it came to the announcement that Netflix would be developing a live-action adaptation of Cowboy Bebop, for instance, many fans wondered who on Earth—or beyond—could conceivably embody the spirit, humor, and, let’s be honest here, bad boy allure of Spike Spiegel. For months, answers evaded us.

But now we have our answer, and it’s a good one: John Cho. According to a press release from Netflix, the big-screen mainstay will star as the Mars-born bounty hunter famed for an attitude that ranges from ambivalence to brutal violence (but yes, yes, with a few well guarded soft spots). And frankly, we couldn’t be happier.

Though Cho, at age 46, is a good deal older than the late-20s Spike was meant to read, his talent across genres—from the bawdy comedies that kickstarted his career, to blockbusters a la the Star Trek series, to smaller-scale thrillers like 2018’s Searching, to tender indie dramas like the magnificent Columbus—and ceaselessly youthful vigor (seriously, would you even have known he was 46?) makes him a pick we’re thrilled by.


Starring alongside Cho on the series will be Mustafa Shakir, whom fans may know from Luke Cage, as Spike’s partner in crime Jet Black, a former cop turned bounty hunter, as well as The Vampire Diaries‘ Daniella Pineda as the femme fatale Faye Valentine, an amnesiac bounty hunter who will do whatever it takes to survive. Alex Hassell, whose résumé is littered with Shakespeare adaptations, will be playing Vicious, a notorious hitman, Spike’s former partner and current arch-enemy.

Furthermore, the series has yet to cast remaining star player Ed, and we’re especially eager to see who’ll be brought in to fill that role. (Oh, and of course, there’s Ein, though something tells me Netflix will be enlisting an unknown for the part.)

Alex Garcia Lopez (The WitcherMarvel’s Daredevil) will direct the first two episodes of the 10 episode series, and Christopher Yost (Thor: Ragnarok) will write the first episode. Cowboy Bebop creator Shinichiro Watanabe will serve as a creative consultant on the project.

Stay tuned for more details. Until then, see you, space cowboy…

Images: Funimation/Paramount

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