News Live-Action ‘Cowboy Bebop’ tv series in the works

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Enterprise is Great, Jun 7, 2017.

  1. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, as Christopher said, they'd need a major budget in order to even approximate the visual world in which the anime is set without having to strip it back considerably, which, as a fan of the series, would just suck.
     
  2. Hound of UIster

    Hound of UIster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    What is the point of this? The original series stands out for its unique synthesis of story, visuals and music, it's not something you can adapt or even recapture in a live action or even an animated format now given how much hand drawn animation is a lost art. If they want to do something similar in terms of visuals/story, why not go for their own space western that they can claim exclusive ownership instead of using a pre-existing IP.
     
  3. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ The owner of said IP is involved in this live-action adaptation, so it's not so much "replacing" the original as it is providing a way for the series and its characters, themes, and setting to gain greater exposure in a different format.
     
  4. Hound of UIster

    Hound of UIster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Sunrise being involved is meaningless. It's a giant corporation attached to an even larger one.

    And the original series already has plenty of exposure both domestically/globally given the critical acclaim and the money its made (despite the rather irregular broadcasting in Japan) .
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That's what I've been saying. It's misunderstanding the entire purpose of adaptation to assume it's intended merely to copy the original work. Most human creativity is about taking something that already exists and transforming it into something different, exploring a new variation on the same theme. There has always been worth in taking existing characters or plots and creating alternative versions of them, like all the many incarnations of Sherlock Holmes or Hercules or Batman or Frankenstein's Monster. Creativity is not about isolated things pulled out of thin air and unconnected to each other; it's a process of memetic evolution, one idea being mutated into another into another, different mutations branching off of a common origin.

    Cowboy Bebop's appeal exists on many levels -- the design, the characters, the action, the music, the humor, the attitude. An adaptation couldn't exactly recreate the visual aspects of the show, but it could capture some of the other elements, in combination with whatever new aspects it adds, and thus perhaps create an alternative version that's worthwhile in its own way. Plus, it could introduce the characters and the world to a new audience that would never be aware of it otherwise, many of whom would seek out the original. That's part of the value of doing an adaptation rather than a separate work -- because every audience is finite in size. Different people prefer different formats -- live action vs. animation, TV vs. movies, prose vs. screen, domestic vs. foreign import, etc. -- so making different versions of a concept in different formats exposes it to more people. It's a given that the existence of a live-action CB adaptation will lead to a boost in sales and viewing of the original, because that's what always happens with an adaptation. It's not a competition between the two; the adaptation helps the original.
     
  6. Count Otto Black

    Count Otto Black Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well let's have a look at the production company behind the show:

    Barring Sunrise Inc, it's going to be co-produced by Midnight Radio, who are a group of TV writers made up of writing-partners Josh Applebaum & Andre Nemec (Alias, Zoo, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, TMNT films), Scott Rosenberg (Con Air, Things to do in Denver When You're Dead, High Fidelity, and writer/producer on many of Applebaum/Nemec's shows), Jeff Pinkner (Alias, Fringe, Lost, the new Dark Tower adaptation) and Chris Yost, who is set to write the pilot (mostly a Marvel animated universe writer and Thor: The Dark World)... Source

    Lots of ups and downs in that group of creators, with Pinkner being the most consistent overall.

    To do this show right I think will take a lot of daring. There are so many avenues and directions they could play with thanks to the sources frenetic-hybrid universe but it would be very easy to simply fall into a neo-noir space setting, forgetting the frivolity and daftness that buoyed the show as a whole. From an aesthetic or directorial POV I would want to have someone with the sensibilities of someone like Edgar Wright producing the show - a strong kinetic cinematic style, but with an encyclopaedic understanding and love of varying genres, who could balance the noir with some real anarchic humour. But his involvement is slim-to-none. So perhaps someone like Guillermo Navarro (Cinematographer on Pan's Labyrinth, Pacific Rim, Hellboy 1/2), who has some amazing TV directing credentials helming 6 beautiful Hannibal episodes, but also the madcap "Sundowner" from Preacher and probably one of the best episodes of Luke Cage.

    The show need not, nor should not be, a carbon copy of the Anime, But it needs to nail down its spirit and flexibility to make it worthy of co-opting the name.

    Plus, cos he should be in everything I watch - Ken Watanabe for Jet Black.

    Hugo - off to rewatch the show cos he's ill and too much time to burn
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Hmm... Chris Yost has done a fair amount with Wolverine in comics and animation -- in fact, he co-created Wolverine's clone/daughter X-23 for the TV series X-Men Evolution. So that could make him effective at writing an antihero like Spike, who's not unlike Wolverine in some ways (including having a voice actor in common -- Steve Blum played Spike in the English dub and has played Wolverine in most animated Marvel productions for the past decade). Having Alias/Mission: Impossible vets onboard could be good too, in terms of capturing the big, stylish action flavor of the show.

    Haven't I seen that Jet is often interpreted as African-American? I was thinking they might go for someone along the lines of a Ving Rhames or Henry Simmons.
     
  8. Count Otto Black

    Count Otto Black Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'll admit, I never spoken with another person outside of this message board about Jet, and in fact never read anything about the show from a fandom perspective, but I never would have guessed people would place Jet's ethnicity as African-American. Though, to be fair, research shows that the his American voice artist, Beau Billingslea, is in fact African-American (and a random captain in ST iD to boot - thank you IMDb)

    My original choice was in fact Ron Pearlman (again, someone who should be in everything) because I identified Jet as a large imposing Caucasian dude (as Anime standards go), old, gruff and with no-shits-to-give, but then I thought an aging Japanese action star might be a good choice (if lacking in muscle mass).

    I could certainly see Rhames doing the part justice. It just depends on whether the developers want to keep Jet as a roided bulk or just "imposing"

    Hugo - who wants a martial-arts trained Ben Schwartz as Spike :nyah:
     
  9. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    His name is Jet Black, people! ;)

    And shouldn't he be African-Japanese or maybe African-Ganymede?
     
  10. The Laughing Vulcan

    The Laughing Vulcan Admiral Admiral

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    I agree, Gary Oldman was completely miscast as Sirius Black in the Harry Potter movies, and someone should tell Jack Black that he's the wrong colour for his name!
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^The thing is, the Japanese have relatively little experience with ethnic diversity, so they often are exactly that blatant -- and far worse -- in their media depictions of ethnically African people. Americans would find it crude and obvious to name a black character Jet Black, but Japanese creators might not see a problem with it.
     
  12. Saul

    Saul Vice Admiral Admiral

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    A live action Cowboy Bebop TV series? Damn I thought it was going to be a movie.
    TV production values will screw this.
     
  13. KyleRaynous

    KyleRaynous Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Well, at least they opted for an anime with roots in American culture...

    Cowboy Bebop is one of the best anime series ever made, and certainly one of my favorites. I also loved the movie. That said, I believe the series might work and go ahead on its own, although I agree with most that it will require some serious budget to capture the visual style appropriately.
     
  14. The Laughing Vulcan

    The Laughing Vulcan Admiral Admiral

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    There are black characters in Cowboy Bebop that are recognisable as ethnically black, if the Japanese are as blatant as you say in their depiction of ethnicity, I doubt that Jet would be so nuanced in appearance as to be worth debating his ethnicity. It's far more likely they chose Jet Black as a name from the phrase/descriptor Jet Black. Conflating the voice actor with character is as useful as making Sulu gay in the Abrams reboot because the original actor was gay (nothing wrong with it, just not useful). Personally, prejudging by appearance and character design, I always took Jet Black to be of Russian/Slavic ancestry.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2017
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  15. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    Far as I ever could tell, Jet was a white guy. I fear, if he was to be cast with a black actor, they'd have to change his name for fear of offending half the population of the US. Or rename Faye "Lilly White" :D
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I didn't say they "are," because that would be a stupid overgeneralization. And I wasn't the one who brought up the point about the character name anyway. I'm just replying to the suggestion others made by saying, okay, there's precedent for similar things in other anime, so it's at least conceivable. That's all I meant.
     
  17. The Laughing Vulcan

    The Laughing Vulcan Admiral Admiral

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    The thing about Cowboy Bebop, is it's set in a story world where the devastation of Earth has led to the mass diaspora into the solar system, so it would be reasonable to assume a greater level of blending and fluidity of ethnicity, to an even greater degree than the United States is today. So it's less about convenient labels as it recognising complex ancestries in the characters. Pretty much the only main character whose ethnic background is hinted at is Faye Valentine
    who was cryogenically frozen before the lunar gate accident, lost her memory on revival, and who received a videotape revealing her childhood in a place that some have recognised as Singapore.
    but even that's open to interpretation. It does mean though that the producers have free rein for casting, there really is no right or wrong.
     
  18. Count Otto Black

    Count Otto Black Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You're kidding, right? This is the interwebs after all and we are talking about an almost hallowed property.

    There will always be wrong ;)

    Hugo - regularly wrong, occasionally right
     
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  19. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't pay for Hulu, but it is available for free on both Crunchy Roll and Yahoo View, so I might have to check it out through one of them.
     
  20. Haunted House of Qo'nOs

    Haunted House of Qo'nOs Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Hm, definitely feeling conflicted on this one. This was one of my first anime series that was a bit more 'grown up' and I love it very much. The selfish part of me never wants to see this remade because there's not really a way to translate exactly what it was (and how it made me feel) into something new. That being said, if this adaptation is in itself an excellent adaptation and not a shallow and superficial remake that doesn't get the point, I would be more than happy! But if it's not, I just won't watch it, I guess (this is probably a lie).

    But, I can already hear the complaints about white-washing this series will end up getting. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for diverse representation and am not a fan of white-washing, but when it comes to properties like anime where main characters are specifically not Asian in any way, then it get's a bit silly. I would be fine if there weren't any Asian-Americans in this show because there were already no people of Asian ancestry in the show proper (Aside from possibly, POSSIBLY Faye). That said, if they cast an Asian-American as Spike, I would find that awesome because that would actually feel like an adaptation; appropriate to the changing cultural meanings of nationality, race, and ethnicity we have today.

    Lol, and then white-genocide threads to follow.