Keanu Reeves Talks Cowboy Bebop

Published 6 years ago by

cowboy beebop Keanu Reeves Talks Cowboy BebopKeanu Reeves recently spoke to MTV, updating us on the progress of his latest live-action passion project Cowboy Bebop.

The project appears to be perfect for Reeves, who loves his anime but also holds a special place for the Sci-Fi genre. Having done films like A Scanner Darkly, Constantine, The Matrix, and the recent The Day The Earth Stood Still, it seems fitting for him to embody the role of Spike Spiegel.

The Japanese television series follows a group of bounty hunters in the year 2071, traveling on the their spaceship “the Bebop.” Spike and Jet Black pilot their way through the universe collecting bounties and adding new members to the Bebop crew. The anime has earned creditable success across the globe, so the hopes (and stakes) are high.

Reeves revealed a bit about the projects status and as well as some thoughts on the upcoming adaption. He explained “we’ve got the rights, we’ve got a writer” and “he’s putting together a scene outline.” He also said the plot would focus on a fictional drug, Red Eye, which provides its users with superhuman reflexes and awareness.

Though focusing on the beginning of the series is good footing, Reeves also said “and then we’ll deal with the end of the series. We’re trying to figure out [the time frame]. We’re looking at the story right now.” This is where the premise pieces should concern fans.

The 26-episode show, and anime feature film, doesn’t maintain a linear style of storytelling; beginning with a premise, each show is rather episodic. Reeves said “because it’s such a short form, to make a 2 hour version [will be tough]” and coupled with the described plot, the film would be unfaithful and counter-intuitive the the actual show.

He continued with “and it’s got so much of an origin-story obligation; you’ve got to get people up to speed, but you don’t want to do much of that. There are a lot of things to take into consideration, but we think we can do something good.” I hope so, but we might need to be light on the definition of “good.”

Because of Cowboy Bebop‘s style of storytelling, the film should be an introduction to the world as it exists. There are few good origin stories, films that introduce the characters properly. Its success has been dependent on settling up the world, as it exists to the main characters, and shedding light on their motivation. Reeves has part of it right, but a film adaption of Cowboy Bebop should only remain in the beginning of the series and end with the assumed continuation of its premise. If done well, the eventual end of the series could be part of a sequel or third film. I suggest this because this particular series requires more time to develop on screen, as exemplified by its television counterpart, presented to a wide audience as a first impression doesn’t allow the viewer to enjoy the premises enough to accept the conclusion.

Though Reeves knows the challenges in making a movie for Cowboy Bebop, he did say “Yeah, but that’s why you want to do it.” At least there are some positive signs in this project’s development.

Are you looking forward to a Cowboy Bebop movie? Do you think Reeves can pull it off?

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  1. @ Fred

    Oh Come on. Cowboy Bebop without Faye and Ed? Man, I sure hope that’s not how it happens. Maybe they’ll start with Red Eye and link it up to the end somehow, not that it sounds too good.

    But I really agree with you about the music. Without Yoko Kanno and The Seatbelts, it’ll be a real bummer.

    Btw, I don’t think anybody who hasn’t already watched the anime, would make much of the movie.

  2. Does anyone know how would I be able to contact a casting director for the part of Ein? I really think my dog is perfect for the part of Ein.

    I think Keanu Reeves could make a good Spike. We’ll see when the film is finally finished. Hopefully he does this anime justice.

  3. @Ahren

    I want Ed(Ms. Radical) and Faye as well, but the crew did say that they will be sticking closely to the story of the series, so yeah.I say screw the Red-Eye story line, Spike ractically owned him in the series, and he got murdered by his GF as well, kind of pathetic.

    I say go for a straight up origin story of how Spike came out from the Syndicate and teams up with Jet. I would much rather prefer to see a romance between Spike and Julia have a tragic ending, cause you have to keep in mind, that even if they stick closely to the source material, a movie still has to have something that a series does not, and I am sure fans(including me) would love to see a Spike Origin story, since series/animated movie does not cover it-lets face it, Spike is prob the coolest anime character ever.

    And the flash backs are enough in the series to make a Spike origin story.

    BTW, they go PG on this film, then i am not stepping in to the thearters-cause FOX is the studio behind it.

    Then the sequel can just be like, hey, Faye appeared out of no where(well they can use flashbacks) and they can then meet up with Ed, and the awesomesauce(hopefully) begins for CB 2.

    Seriously, I do hope that they do not do this movie and they just go for another animated film/season, but the stupid producer says,” in the spirit of CB, we should stop making CB when the fans are wanting more”, like it would hurt them to make season three of possibly the most popular anime in the history of anime after more than 6 years , instead of annoying fans(and me) by going for a Live-Action film, and who the hell is doing it- FOX!!!!

    FOX-the butcherer of comic/anime/manga films.


  4. @ Fred

    I guess it would be cool if it covers the whole Spike-Julia- Vicious arc. If it begins and ends on red eye, it’d be like a breakneck mindless action version of CB. They can’t just eat up the best part….or can they? :O

    Er…but I think CB2 isn’t a good idea. I mean it ended the best way it could. A second season might just kill the whole thing. Anyway, that’s just my opinion . :P

  5. @ahren

    Yeah, CB 2 is kind of bad since number one leaves the audience wanting more.

    I would not want it beginning and ending on Red Eye, cause that will suck, CB is all about story and exploring themes like memory, past, seclusion, then throwing in bursts of action to thrill the audience. If they make CB PG, then I don’t want it to be Iron Man PG, I want it to be Hancock PG-like the s-bomb and a-bombs at times said along woth the awesome punch lines from Spike. The better be blood as well(not gore , but when a bullet penetrates someone, then I don’t want to have to see not blood fall out, cause CB has traces of a realism theme explored, in real life, when a bullet hits someone, and blood to not fall out), cause CB anime had it as well and plenty of Adult themes.

    Also, Reeves better not play Spike, he is a friggin plank face(kind of sucks that it is his project, so that won’t happen).

    An origin story of how Jet and Spike met up can be very nice, cause it gives audiences a chance ot explore Jet, cause he is almost as important as Spike. And we still don’t know about the friendship between the two as it was only briefly explored in the series.

    Why does a Cop team up with a syndicate member ? Maybe that thinking mechanism can be explored with Jet(yeah we know that they are both bounty hunters, but a cop has principles, and teaming up with a member of a crime syndicate would not play well in a cop’s books).

    And for Spike, how does he deal with being constantly remined of his dark past, or if doing an origin movie, how can Spike deal with leaving his original life behind and making a new present while still having to deal with memories of his previous life.The journey of Spike moving on can be explored.

    I will be so annoyed if they do not stick with the original soundtrack from the anime.

  6. @Fred

    I think Reeves can pull it off. I mean atleast he fits the image, no other actor comes to mind. And he has that touch of sarcasm, plus he likes anime. I’m just worried about the rest of the cast.

    Aaargh, this is making me go insane. Why don’t they just ban live-action versions…??? Guess that wouldn’t happen..I’d personally go murder the cast, if they screw up.


    I hope they include Gren, though. :D

  7. @ Ahren

    I know he has the sarcasm, but reeves has like no badass, he seems like a goodie good, even in the matrix trilogy, he was plank faced with not a hint of bad-ass.Correct me if i have missed something though.

    And spike is not spike without bad-ass.

    Also I think that Micheal Chicklis can pull off a perfect Jet, he has the voice and build for it-the voive he did as the thing in F4 was pretty good, and can match for jet, he just has to buff up a bit more.

    For faye, tough call. The same for Ed.

    Ein can be CGI-LOL.

    But I have seen plenty of dogs that look just like a welsh corgi, just type it up in youtube ad you will get videos of many dogs that look just like ein, except for the white backside-lol.

    But I feel you, anime to live action should be banned, unless it is Monster, cause that show is like an anime that is not like and anime-just watch it and you will know what I mean.

    One of the reasons I suggested an origin film is because Gren will be the character most likely to be ****ed up, because now you have to develop Spike, Jet and Gren and vicious. And you have to use Vicious, and then because it is FOX that is responsible for making this movie, They may wreck the movie bad as they could either kill of Spike, and not make it look epic and sad-cause 2 hours is not enough to make and audience like a badass character like spike, or they will keep spike alive, meaning that there will be a sequel, meaning that I will end up either killing myself(jk) or killing the cast and crew before the first scenes are on the way, starting with the writers and the head of FOX studios.

    But yeah, I would like to see Gren.Awesome character-then you can play the song space lion when gren dies.

  8. BTW, I suggested the origin film because I do not want to have Gren in it for reason stated in my previous post.

  9. @ Fred

    Well he does lack the bad-ass streak, agreed. But being Neo didn’t really call for a bad-ass attitude, I guess. This one would be a little closer to Constantine. Kinda.

    Oh and, they wouldn’t kill Spike, no, most probably not. If they do that they’d have to end it the way it ended in series, and they can’t pull that one off. Like hell they can’t. And if they make up some different but similar ending, it’ll be BAD.

    Oh, yeah, and off-topic, but Monster is one f***ing awesome anime. I have watched it. I’ve watched more anime than all the candies I’ve ever eaten, put together.. :P

  10. @ahren

    Well it was not just in the matrix that I am talking about, but also in other films, such as street kings, a bad-ass streak would have pretty much made his role golden.

    Knowing wantanabe-the main creator of CB, he would only want one movie , and not have Spike die.

    They better get Yoko Kanno in on he soundtrack, cause that was one main reason to wathc CB.

    Off Topic: Monster rocks he block, I just hated to have to watch it at till like the 14-15 ep until things cut lose, so I prefer the manga, plus for me dub>sub, since I am the listening kind, and monster has no dubs, so manga all the way.

    Hey, whats your top ten fav anime?

  11. Jeez, well I guess we just have to wait for the movie to come out and pray that FOX doesn’t screw up..Oh and Seatbelts too. ;)

    Off-topic: Well actually, I prefer manga over anime too, well, not realy, I mean it differs from title to title…same about the sub and dub thing, I prefer english in action anime..I mean japanese looks out of place, in, lets say, er..La Chevalier D’eon…

    Uh..My top ten favorite anime? Lets see..Elfen Lied, CB, Serial Exp Lain, El Cazador(all three of BeeTrain), Blood+, GITS, Wolf’s Rain, Black Lagoon, Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya, Paranoia Agent, Hellsing, Kara No kyokai..oh hey, I exceeded the allotted no. I had lots more..but… :|

    Also there are stuff which I like better in Manga, like DeathNote, ParaKiss, VK(alright, so the plot is flimsy and dumb, but hey, I’m a girl what do you expect.?)
    And Angel Sanctuary(manga), though most ppl have never heard of it..its awesome.

    P.S- I think we’re digging our graves, we’ll be moderated out, if we keep straying off the topic.

  12. There is only one Jet Black, and his name is Ron Perlman. If they get Ron Perlman to do Jet, I will actually see this movie (in a theater, even).

    • I agree; Ron Pearlman for Jet. I was thinking of it before I had even known that others were on the idea.
      I do not, however, have a clue as to who could play Ed. Dakota Fanning maybe, but she’s growing up kind of fast to look as child-like as Ed is. That and the fact that I don’t know if Fanning could pull off how bat-sh*t crazy Ed is.

  13. Well actually there are two Jet Blacks, Michael Chicklis and Ron Pearlman.Sure Ron Pearlman is easily a supreme fit for the part, but Michael can also be cast as he has he ability to stick to the character really well and at the same time show some fatherly instinct-Jet was almost like a father to everyone even thoug he was a friend in that he was always right and confronted his past much more successfuly than Spike did for himself.Jet also shows all the dimensions of a father, such as the “tough love” father in his interactions to Faye and a very lineant, care-free father, almost like a father who is a friend in his interactions to Spike.Its just that I though that Michael played Ben better in F4(what a bad movie) that Ron played Hell Boy in Hell Boy one and two.

    Also, they should just cast Steve Blum, his voice in the anime made the english version of the dub look epic awesomeness, and all other versions of the Dub look epic crap(except for the french one as Spike did sound extremely bad ass, like
    a-head-shot-was-coming-any-second-to-a-bounty-target badass).In the anime the voice of Steve Blum pretty much defines his character more than the actions-of course the actions and attitude was very important, but the voice helped this along as well. From the first word I know that spike as epic badass.

    Now I am just kidding about the casting call to make Steve Blum play Spike, but seriously, Reeves should work with Steve to nail the voice, cause Steve’s voice played a big role in creating part of that vintage Cowboy Bebop atmosphere that seperates Cowboy Bebop from all other shows , which will be hard to do in live action with other element, so you need the voice to set the mood. If Reeves cannot get the voice right, then just dub over Reeves original voice with Steve Blum’s voice in the live action film, cause lets face it, Reeves is never going to be bad ass no matter how hard he tries, and the voice of Spike-particularly the attitude, tone and pitch is extremely important in setting the pace and setting for what you are going to get out of Spike.

    His voice matches his actions as well. Like when Spike is all laid back and could not care less about anything, his voice sounds very chilled out and care-free. But when he busts out into action and winning a fight , his voice is one of confidence. When he is in a crucial chase, his voice reflects his stress levels.

    I know that voice is not the biggest hing when it comes to movies, but Cowboy Bebop is different, almost everything sets it apart from other shows.

    And they better do some fan service and open with the Tank by the Seatbelts-epic opening.

    Does anyone thing that Reeves is more suited to playing Jin from Samurai Champloo rather than Spike, cause I certainly do. Reeves should push for a Champloo film as he would still be working with the same genius behind Cowboy Bebop and also have a perfect part in Jin(pronouned Jean)-a ****ing Plank-Face,just like Reeves himself,lol.He even has the height to play Jin.

  14. I could see this happen because CB could be made into a movie, with a good script and actors to pull it off. When I heard Keanu was doing Spike’s part I was encouraged. However, I had second thoughts, but he could do a good job by stepping more into Spike’s character, i don’t think its impossible. I just hope they don’t ruin it like they did DBZ which they should have never done since DBZ is so complicated as it is.

  15. They should just make the movie a two hour version of the first episode. I have no idea who would play the three old guys though…

  16. I think Keanu would be a good “Vicious”, I love him in Sci-Fi movies, so I think he should definatly be envolved in this project no doubt, but I Keanu’s on screen personality would fit the villan better than the anti-hero if you ask me.

    Either way I’m looking forward to see this, I just hope they don’t mess around with the music =)