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Sunrise to Co-Produce Live-Action Cowboy Bebop TV Series

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Marty Adelstein's Tomorrow Studios produces series with Thor writer Chris Yost

Entertainment news magazine Variety and entertainment news website Deadline reported on Tuesday that Tomorrow Studios, a partnership between producer Marty Adelstein (Prison Break, Teen Wolf) and ITV Studios, will produce a live-action television series adaptation of the 1998 television anime Cowboy Bebop. Chris Yost (Thor: The Dark World, Thor: Ragnarok) will write the adaptation.

The studio Sunrise, which animated the original series, will executive produce the live-action series. Other executive producers will include Adelstein, Becky Clements (Good Behavior, Aquarius), Midnight Radio, and Matthew Weinberg. Midnight Radio is composed of Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, Jeff Pinkner, and Scott Rosenberg.

Adelstein said, "We are excited to work with Sunrise in bringing this beloved anime to the U.S. and global marketplace as a live-action series." The producer also said, "The animated version has long resonated with audiences worldwide, and with the continued, ever growing, popularity of anime, we believe a live action version will have an incredible impact today.”

The original anime's director Shinichiro Watanabe commented on the proposed Hollywood live-action film adaptation of the anime in 2014. He said, "I'm afraid I don't know what they're thinking in Hollywood. Apparently the project hasn't come to a stop but I don't know how it's going to progress from here on. I hear that there are a lot of 'Hollywood' problems." The director also said he had no interest in creating an animated Cowboy Bebop sequel unless "I thought I could do better [than] last time. If I feel that way, I might make more but I don't know when that would happen."

Actor Keanu Reeves said in 2013 that "Cowboy Bebop does not look like it is going to happen with me in it." Reeves was originally slated to star in the proposed live-action film. The American film studio Twentieth Century Fox, the production Company 3 Arts Entertainment, and Sunrise announced in January 2009 that they would be co-producing the proposed adaptation of the anime.

Joshua Long had acted as a production supervisor, and Erwin Stoff, a film producer who worked closely with Reeves on The Matrix and A Scanner Darkly, was also attached. The associate producers for the film were Sunrise President Kenji Uchida, the original Cowboy Bebop director Shinichiro Watanabe, and the original series script supervisor Keiko Nobumoto. The Sunrise Studio itself and Masahiko Minami (former Sunrise producer and BONES studio co-founder) were both acting as production consultants. Peter Craig was writing the film's screenplay. Stoff had said in 2009 that the film would not be an origin story.

The original anime series follows the motley crew of the spaceship Bebop as it travels throughout the solar system in search of the next job. The anime inspired Cowboy Bebop: The Movie in 2001. Funimation released the series on Blu-ray and DVD in North America in 2014.

Sources: Variety, Deadline

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