Movie Chronicles » Cowboy Bebop Live Action Movie
An unofficial blog following the live action movie adaptation of Cowboy Bebop, starring Keanu Reeves as Spike Speigel.

Keanu Reaves gives update on Cowboy Bebop movie September 23rd, 2009

Speak­ing to MTV at a recent press event, Keanu Reeves revealed a bit about the progress of the Bebop movie. The first draft of the adap­ta­tion is com­plete, and although described as ‘fan­tas­tic’, it was ulti­mately too expen­sive to make. It is being reworked into some­thing a bit more producible.

“There’s a draft of the script, but the writer did such a great job [that] in order to make the movie, you would need half a bil­lion dollars.”

How­ever, Reeves indi­cated that the writer’s adher­ence to the galaxy-spanning adven­ture of the full entire series might prove a lit­tle daunt­ing for production.

“So the stu­dio went, ‘This movie is fan­tas­tic and it would cost half a bil­lion dol­lars,” laughed Reeves, “so he’s doing a rewrite.”

“The only chal­lenge was to make a sat­is­fy­ing west­ern nar­ra­tive out of the kind of sto­ry­telling that hap­pens,” he added. “There’s a great draft, so we’re just try­ing to pull it back a lit­tle bit now.”

Thanks Nick!

Peter Craig talks Live Action Cowboy Bebop June 24th, 2009

Live action writer Peter Craig gave an inter­view to Animé Vice, which revealed a few reas­sur­ing details about the Bebop adap­ta­tion; at least par­tially putting fans at ease — some are still out­raged at Keanu Reeve’s cast­ing as Spike.

On the movie’s progress

AV: It’s been reported that the staff who made the animé– the stu­dio Sun­rise –is going to remain involved in the film. Do you know at this point if this will include sig­nif­i­cant involve­ment in the script?

PC: Yes, they’re very much involved. I met with all of them in Tokyo in Decem­ber — at a long meet­ing with Keanu in the room. I thought there was an imme­di­ate rap­port between all of us, par­tic­u­larly Shinchiro Watan­abe and Keanu. I asked ques­tions, pre­sented sce­nar­ios, and they were very spe­cific about their vision for the series, and how it might con­vert to a live-action film. They’ve con­tin­ued to be in touch since then; and last month I received a very detailed let­ter, which I’ve con­sulted reg­u­larly. I’m close to fin­ish­ing an early draft, and I believe they’ll be very happy with it. Not only does the script stay extremely true to the show — I also know that Erwin and Fox are already dis­cussing pro­duc­tion design­ers that can repro­duce the “look” of Cow­boy Bebop as closely as pos­si­ble. They’ll be read­ing the script soon… so my fin­gers are crossed.

On get­ting the gig

I’m obvi­ously not the most likely writer to land a great project like this. I began as a nov­el­ist, and was steered into writ­ing screen­plays when I adapted two of my own crime nov­els after they were optioned. Even­tu­ally, I earned a decent rep­u­ta­tion for writ­ing cer­tain kinds of char­ac­ters: dis­af­fected men, dys­func­tional fam­i­lies, poker-playing con-women, weath­ered ex-cops. A cou­ple of things I’ve writ­ten are going into pro­duc­tion this sum­mer — but they’ve been cir­cu­lat­ing much longer. So stu­dios and pro­duc­ers were famil­iar with my work here.

Even though I’d never writ­ten Sci-Fi, Emma Watts and Erwin Stoff really believed that I might relate well to Spike, Faye, and Jet — as well as many of the minor char­ac­ters from the episodes. When I heard I might have a chance for the job, I was thrilled. Fox sent me every episode of “Cow­boy Bebop,” includ­ing a few that had never aired in the U.S. I think I watched all of them con­sec­u­tively one night until the sun came up — and by the end, I was obsessed with the show. I loved how it mixed gen­res, how it blended noir, Jazz, Yakuza movies, West­erns, and so much else into a vision of the future that worked. And so I entered that process of going after the job, giv­ing my “take” on the movie, com­pet­ing with other writ­ers. Ulti­mately, I got the job because Erwin Stoff and Emma Watts had liked my work in the past — and they saw that I was pas­sion­ate about it.

Keanu Reeves cast as Spike Spiegel March 10th, 2009

The jump from pro­ducer Erwin Stoff to actor Keanu Reeves was a pre­dictable one — the movies they’ve made together are numer­ous — The Matrix, A Scan­ner Darkly, The Lake House, Con­stan­tine, The Day the Earth Stool Still, The Devil’s Advo­cate — to name but a few.

Vari­ety broke the news in Jan­u­ary this year, addi­tion­ally reveal­ing that Peter Craig is set to pen the screen­play with Joshua Long as an exec­u­tive pro­ducer. Sun­rise Inc., pro­duc­ers of the animé, shall have close involve­ment with the film’s devel­op­ment with Kenji Uchida and Shinichiro Watan­abe to act as asso­ciate pro­duc­ers next to writer Keiko Nobu­moto; series pro­ducer Masahiko Minami shall act as a pro­duc­tion consultant.

Reeves will take on the role of Spike Spiegel, an adven­tur­ous bounty hunter trav­el­ing through space in 2071.

Story fol­lows the adven­tures of a group of bounty hunters trav­el­ing on their space­ship, the Bebop. Peter Craig has been tapped to write the screenplay.

Live Action Cowboy Bebop Announcement March 10th, 2009

On July 22nd 2008 IF Mag­a­zine posted an arti­cle reveal­ing the first news of a Live Action movie adap­ta­tion of Cow­boy Bebop — a project under the watch­ful eyes of 20th Cen­tury Fox with pro­ducer Erwin Stoff (I am Leg­end, Con­stan­tine, The Matrix) at the helm:

“I’m devel­op­ing COWBOY BEBOP for Fox, but doing it as a live-action film, so I’m work­ing on that at the moment,” Stoff tells iF. “I’m really excited to be work­ing on it, and it’s in the really early stages. We just signed it the other day.”

Stoff con­tin­ued with a state­ment of good intent in regards to a faith­ful adaptation:

“I have such an enor­mous admi­ra­tion for its cre­ators, that our first and fore­most con­cern is going to be a real degree of faith­ful­ness to the tone of the movie, to the mix of gen­res, and so on and so forth,” he says. “When I met with them in Japan, one of the first things that I brought up was the expe­ri­ence that we had on A SCANNER DARKLY, and how hard we worked to remain faith­ful to Philip K. Dick, and that was our big con­cern here.”

On the qualms of a cor­rect cast — at least in the eyes of fans, Stoff brushed aside the issue:

“Flak about choices is mean­ing­less until peo­ple see the movie,” he notes. “When peo­ple see the movie, then crit­i­cism has a place in it.”

Welcome to Movie Chronicles September 18th, 2007

A blog net­work deliv­er­ing the lat­est news updates on a range of in-production block­buster movies.