Keanu Reeves To Star In Cowboy Bebop

Published 7 years ago by

cowboy bebopmovieposter Keanu Reeves To Star In Cowboy Bebop First Showing is reporting that Keanu “Whoah” Reeves is adding another straight-faced hero to his resume, playing intergalactic bounty hunter Spike Spiegel in the live-action adaption of anime cult-favorite, Cowboy Bebop.

According to First Showing’s “inside source” at Fox studios, Cowboy Bebop has long been buried in the list of movies waiting to be green lit, with Reeves attached to the project for some time now. That bit of star-power, plus some early fan buzz, has motivated Fox to fast-track Cowboy Bebop for a 2010 release; though currently there is no director, writer, or script for the film.

keanu reeves 7 Keanu Reeves To Star In Cowboy Bebop

For those who aren’t into anime, Cowboy Bebop follows the exploits of a team of bounty hunters, (“Cowboys” as their known,) who coast the cosmos aboard their spaceship, Bebop, tracking down the universe’s worst criminals and collecting the bounty on their heads. The plot thickens when the team’s strong but silent leader, Spike (Reeves) begins to run across his old buddies from a nefarious crime syndicate he used to belong to. The only thing standing in the gangsters’ way? Spike, and the crew of the Bebop.

If Reeves is attached, you can expect the scale of this flick to be big-budget epic. Warring spaceships and kung-fu throwdowns complete with gun fire. Nice. Between Cowboy Bebop, the upcoming Street Fighter: Legend of Chun Li and the live-action Dragonball movie, it seems Hollywood is trying to cash in on the anime universe.

Are you psyched for a Cowboy Bebop movie? Or is anime not your thing? Let us know what you think.

Source: First Showing

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  1. I just hope Keanu doesn’t think because of The Matrix he can do martial arts. I’m a fan of the anime and there are quite a few things that would be extremely hard to translate to live action:

    Ed, computer hacker, naive, child-like– and a bit insane

    Faye would probably be pretty easy to do, just a femme-fatale with giant breasts; though I hope they don’t give her purple hair…

    Jet might be difficult, maybe Ron Perlman could add it to his belt since he’s already used to one big arm– and he’s kinda got the look for it.

    Just the main characters alone will be a bit difficult, not to mention everyone in this anime is a smoker; our hero Spike is a chain smoker and it effects a lot of situations / reactions to his character.

    About the martial arts thing– Spike uses Jeet Kun Do, Bruce Lee’s mix-martial arts style that relies on being completely fluid; Keanu was so mechanical in The Matrix.


  2. They did a Bebop anime movie, and it was excellent. The show is excellent too.

    Personally I can’t see a live action movie comparing to either.

    Bebop is about style and tone. If it lacks either, then no good.
    Reeves as Spike? No. NOOOO!
    Spike has an easy charm that Reeves couldn’t even fake.

  3. Oops. You snuck in ahead of me Reverend. ;)

    Excellent points. The smoking would likely be the first to go.
    The action scenes are brilliant in Bebop. Graceful, almost like a dance. Takes more than kicking to replicate.

  4. “The only thing standing in the gangsters’ way? Spike, and the crew of the Bebop.”

    Ahaha, the article makes the show sound like some crappy saturday morning cartoon. “The misadventures of Spike and the gang!”. Let’s hope the actual screenwriters aren’t as such.

    And I implore anyone who enjoys good television to watch Cowboy Bebop. It’s one of the best television shows ever made, and you’ll probably like it even more if you generally hate anime.

  5. Don’t quite know if that will work, if it doesn’t lesson learned and hopefully no one will make fun of me.

  6. I guess it didn’t haha well you can check out the pic I made for this article HERE

  7. I think this could work out to be a nice popcorn-flick. And I think Reeves is a good choice for the role.

    And Reverend,

    It doesn’t matter if Reeves thinks he can or cannot do martial arts. Anyone, including yourself can learn the necesary moves to pull off what is needed. Not to mention the training he will recieve. And of course his moves were mechanic, that’s was the freaking style of martial arts he was pulling off. Had he done more of a fluid moving martial arts, the guess what? His moves would be more “fluid.”

  8. I think this could work out to be a nice popcorn-flick. And I think Reeves is a good choice for the role.

    And Reverend,

    It doesn’t matter if Reeves thinks he can or cannot do martial arts. Anyone, including yourself can learn the necessary moves to pull off what is needed. Not to mention the training he will receive. And of course his moves were mechanic, that’s was the freaking style of martial arts he was pulling off. Had he done more of a fluid moving martial arts, the guess what? His moves would be more “fluid.”

  9. This thing has BOMB written all over it. I mean Keanu hasn’t had a hit in almost a decade and one of the most loved and well known anime shows (Speed Racer) flopped like a Roseanne Barr striptease show. No WAY this movie makes money or is even WATCHABLE.

  10. Ash Ali,

    Since you know the styles he was pulling off were meant to be mechanic– could you tell me which styles they were?



  11. this film may be cool, but I’m not excited about Dragonball at all. I really dislike anime style cartoons personally, but this space combat thing sounds fun

  12. Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!

    I was really just hoping his agent getting the rights was just a coincidence. I hope this falls through for Keanu and John Cusack somehow steps in to fill the shoes – though I know that won’t happen, sadly.

    For those who have seen the show, I think he looks the part as much or more so than Keanu. He’s a little younger, he arguably has better acting ability, and he can probably handle the fighting scenes/character nuances too (remember Grosse Pointe Blank?). Does anyone else agree?

    If it goes through with Keanu though, at least maybe they could offset it with a great screenwriter/director like David Hayter with Luc Besson or Steven Soderbergh behind the lens, someone with a good sense of visual style.

    Yes, Rev, I agree with Ron Perlman for Jet, he’s the only person I have been able to think of so far that might fit that role.

    Hopefully they won’t be stupid and get rid of such a trivial thing as smoking on screen (at least for Spike), but I guess that’s a strong possibility.

  13. Awesome news. Cowboy Bebop was one of favorite Anime shows and I could see it being made into live action. I don’t know what ot think about Keanu Reeves as Spike he certainly looks the part I just hope he can act like him.
    I hope they get a director that can get the cool images and music that the anime had.

  14. Andy said: “one of the most loved and well known anime shows (Speed Racer) flopped like a Roseanne Barr striptease show.”

    That’s because Speed Racer is a horrible, horrible show. Same with Dragonball (that flopped by simply existing). Cowboy Bebop, however, rivals most television dramas even today.

    Of course, the quality of the original rarely actually correlate to their adaptations, but it should say something.

  15. Did somebody say Speed Racer sucks ??
    Aaarrrgggghhhh !!!

    I need a trailer before I pass judgement on this.

  16. Please somebody help … make up some bumper stickers “Keanu is NOT Spike!”
    I’m ready to hand them out at the street corner.
    By the way Spike isn’t the leader. He’s in partnership with Jet. Andrea Parker for Fay… she’s got the look…
    Hasn’t anybody seen or know anybody whose hair is soo black it looks blue? I have.

    Alison Lohman to play ED. Have to do some more thinking for Spike and Jet.
    Yoko Kanno for the music! Go to pandora and punch her name in to hear some

  17. Ok OldMan what’s the prob with Keanu playing the lead,
    I’ve never even heard of this anime cartoon ????

  18. It’s the same things as him playing Klaatu.The show is so iconic, the only way for him to do it is to do what I think they’ve done to “TDTESS.” Gut what is at the heart and redo it around Reeves abilities.

    It’s sad though the creator of “Cowboy Bebop,” Shinichiro Watanabe has been rumored to have said.
    I consider a live-action “Cowboy Bebop” to be “low quality”.

  19. The only thing that truly determines the quality of a movie is the director…the actors only take cues from the man in charge…if he thinks the shot is good, it’s a wrap…if he believes it’s not a good quality shot, then they shoot it again…until it meets his standards.

    If you don’t believe my opinoin then remember Catwoman…
    The comic is good, the character is great, and her interaction with Batman is essential to comicbook “mythology”, but what about the movie?
    We all know the movie was junk relative to its potential, and why?
    Because of the director, who was it? Anybody?

    His name is Pitof and Catwoman was his feature film directorial debut…Hmm, wonder why it flopped? The sad part is the rumor that he might get to direct…wait for it…

    Akira! Are you freakin kiddin me!?!?!

    I digress…Batman Begins was awesome, you know why? Because Christopher Nolan understands the characters and obviously invested tons of time into reading up. He not only conveys the obvious messages, but he also comprehends the underlying themes which truly drive both the villians and the hero…Nolan is a spectacular director and through his genius the “new” Batman has become the number one movie to date!!!

    My best example would be Ghost Rider. For those who don’t know the main character was played by Nicholas Cage, and he grew up reading the comic book. His comments toward earning the leading role were, “I was made for this role,” and the movie was not up to standards. Why? Just look at Mark Steven Johnson’s resume…
    Grumpy Old Men
    Grumpier Old Men
    Jack Frost

    All a bunch of comedies, and then he takes on Daredevil (a piece of crap relative to X-Men and Batman) and Elektra (a little better, but still lacking the raw comic book feel).

    These are just opinoins…and we all know what those are like, but if anyone can tell me what Pitof has done that has had worldwide success, please let me know.

    And lastly, if anyone thinks Keanu is so horrible, please explain why The Matrix was so popular at the box office? I guess he just knows how to play cool…which is exactly the role of Spike!

  20. But then again, if I hear Keanu Reeves say, “Whoa!” one more freakin time…
    I’m gonna shoot myself!

    Just kidding, but seriously…

    With the right director, this live action Bebop might be “okay”

    It’s never going to live up to the standards Watanabe set, just like a live-action Eva will never be satisfactory in Hideaki Anno’s opinoin. The reason is because no live-action movie can fully capture what is possible in anime…

    In anime there is complete creative control over every single aspect…
    The actors do precisely what you envision, the scenes are the exact amount of delay and timing, and even the voices match the movement of the lips (they draw first, then record so the audibles match the movement on the screen). No movie will ever be able to fully capture this creative control, no matter the actors, the director, or the studio…
    Unless we let Pixar make this into a digital film…

  21. The Muse, so do you like Ghost Rider or hate it, I can’t tell ???

    And, I have no prob with Keanu btw…

  22. I’ll take some of those bumper stickers, Old Man. Reeves is just not the right man. He can do cool, in a quiet, static way. Spike isn’t like that at all. He’s a charmer, wise-cracker, taking everything in his stride (unless his past comes up). If nothing else Reeves would have to speak up!

    Perlman as Jet would be very cool, and totally agree about having the right director. Again, that’s the thing you worry about with a star getting hold of a movie like this. They’d rather have a director they can boss about.

    Also, Yoko Kanno’s music is a must.

    Cowboy Bebop is one of the best animes ever done. It is a show any anime fan would point to as a champion of the genre. It deserves a lot better than a pop-corn flick.

  23. Agree with the previous poster that Cusack would be a better fit for Spike. There’s a wry sense of humour associated with the character and a healthy dose of fatalism that seems to be right in Cusack’s wheelhouse. As for the other casting concerns, maybe Michael Chilkis (The Shield?) could pull off Jet, I don’t know, maybe Perlman perhaps. Faye Valentine….maybe Christina Hendricks from Mad Med and Firefly. The thing is the anime is character and story based, one of the best around, one of those perfect storm kinda shows, where the story, the art and the music all work to paint one helluva picture. Unlike any other anime that most folks have ever seen (if your basing your thoughts on this movie as being similar to Speed Racer and dragonball Z it would be like comparing the Mary Tyler Moore Show with Combat, i.e. no relevance whatsover other than the discussion that one is anime and the other uses live actors).

    The story is good enough to be Live Action, but without the proper director and casting I fear that this would be a major disappointment (I would see it yes, but stilll…. y’know).

  24. There is no way a live movie will ever top the TV show or the Animated Movie. Just lower your expectations and leave them at the door of the theatre…

    The movie has to have Ein in it also. He was the fifth member of the crew.

  25. @ Muse “The only thing that truly determines the quality of a movie is the director…the actors only take cues from the man in charge”
    Ledger had the ability, the director can’t shove that into just anybody, it has to be there. I think they call it talent.. Nolan said as much about Ledger in a recent interview.
    Additionally, a script goes a long way in determining the success. Look at all the people just here, endlessly discussing and pulling for their favorite story points for the next “Batman” movie. The director isn’t always the source of the story! I’m concerned too about just how “Attached” Keanu is. Like having complete autonomy and creative control. You talk about the director being “IT” but what happens when that person has given up on making the material “sing the song it can sing?” They might be the best but are ham strung or looking for a payday. Don’t get me wrong I liked Keanu in “The Matrix.” I just want someone with more talent, curly hair, and knows Jeet Kune Do. The easy way to settle this is have auditions! If Mr. Reeves is confident he can do the part he shouldn’t mind putting up against competition.

  26. “old man” you are absolutely correct!

    Absolutely, the only true way to fit a role as large as Spike is to find someone who is suave, calm, and knows Jeet Kun Do. Keanu is just not a good enough actor, I wasn’t defending his ability to act, only his ability to perform martial arts.

    Lastly, the actors with talent are definitely a huge part, but the big picture is controlled by the director. Just remember X 3. Plot-good, Characters-great, Actors-even better, script-awesome…but the movie was nowhere near the quality of the first two…maybe Superman should have been completed first so Singer would remain director…..

    Cusack would definitely be a better Spike, but the most obvious choice would be someone “undiscovered” who really fills the shoes, vis a vie: Toby Maguire is Peter Parker!

  27. @ old man…you called my bluff…now what? And steven the git…Get a couple extra and mail ‘em to me! Keanu will turn this movie into a “whoa” fest of box office bombs!

    And to answer 790…I didn’t like Ghost Rider, it lacked anything substantial to really grasp my attention, just like the latest Rambo movie. Old people shouldn’t make young movies…And that’s the final reason to cut Keanu…he’s too old to play a zealous, brash character like Spike. I’d like to see James Franco take a try at Jeet Kun Do, he has the talent at least to act the part of Spike…

    And this is crazy, but I think Jason Statham could play Jet…if he lost the accent. Really though the best fit would be Pearlman (he looks so cool with the shaved head and dark glasses). Another idea would be crazy, but might just work…Matt Damon could carry the role of Jet pretty well…but only if Benny was there to hold his hand as Spike, hmmm???

  28. Ghost Rider and Rambo. Ooooooooo
    Harsh MUSE, harsh!!

  29. Yeah…I know, but I’m just a little too critical I guess. Better example would have been the first Hulk movie, right?


    Who thinks Angelina Jolie would make a good Faye? She’s got the talent, and the twins…

    If not her, then a certain Slayer…like Ms. Sarah Michelle Gellar? Perhaps???

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