Movie Chronicles » Cowboy Bebop Live Action Movie


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.”