Executive producer and writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach has addressed fan concerns that the Netflix live-action adaptation of Cowboy Bebop might be unfaithful to the original anime.
During an interview with Gizmodo, Grillo-Marxuach explained how the Netflix adaptation of Cowboy Bebop would be faithful to the original anime. The new series is meant add to canon, rather than try to replace the anime series, with Grillo-Marxuach saying “We don’t want the fans of the show to look at it and say that we failed them or we failed the original.”
Grillo-Marxuach then went on to explain his philosophy for writing the show’s episodes.
“You’ve got a show where you have 26 episodes that are full of very colorful villains, very colorful stories, very colorful adversaries, bounties, and all of that,”
“[…] We’re not going to go one-to-one on all of those stories because we’re also trying to tell the broader story of Spike Spiegel and the Syndicate, Spike Spiegel and Julia, Spike Spiegel and Vicious, and all that. But we are looking at the show and saying, ‘Who are some of the great villains in this show, and how can we put them into this into this broader narrative?’ So that we are telling both of the big stories that Cowboy Bebop tells.”
Some changes from the anime were revealed however. Faye’s revealing outfit will be “toned down.” “We need to have a real human being wearing that,” Grillo-Marxuach explains. While characters smoke, (in Gizmodo’s words) “the habit may be a bit less glamorized to reflect modern sensibilities.”
Grillo-Marxuach “pushed back” on the outrage some had towards the creative team being largely white and male; despite Grillo-Marxuach himself being Puerto Rican, Shinichirō Watanabe (the creator of Cowboy Bebop) acting as a consultant, and Asian writers such as Greenfeld and Vivian Lee-Durkin.
Grillo-Marxuach also stated (in Gizmodo’s words) “the show has been committed to diversity in front of the camera.” “Spike Spiegel has to be Asian. Like, you can’t Scarlett Johansson this shit,” Grillo-Marxuach explained. “We are making a show that takes place in a future that is multicultural, that is extraordinarily integrated and where those things are the norm.”
The Netflix adaptation of Cowboy Bebop stars John Cho as Spike Siegal, Mustafa Shakir as Jet Black, Daniella Pineda as Faye Valentine, Alex Hassell as Vicious.
Filming for Cowboy Bebop was delayed due to an on-set accident three episodes in, where star John Cho was injured. While the first season has yet to leave production, writers are reportedly working on season 2 already.