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Cowboy Bebop being remade as a live-action TV series

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Welcome back, space cowboy

Cowboy Bebop - Jet, Spike, Faye
Yes, we’re just as shocked.
Sunrise/Funimation via AnimeBlurayUK

A live-action remake of Cowboy Bebop, the influential late ’90s anime about a group of spacefaring bounty hunters, is in development for American television at Tomorrow Studios, the company announced today.

Tomorrow Studios, a partnership between ITV Studios and television producer Marty Adelstein (Teen Wolf, Aquarius, Prison Break: Resurrection), is teaming up with Sunrise — the Japanese animation studio behind the original Cowboy Bebop — and Midnight Radio to produce the live-action series, according to Variety and Deadline. Christopher Yost, the screenwriter behind Thor: The Dark World and the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok, is on board to write the remake.

“We are excited to work with Sunrise in bringing this beloved anime to the U.S. and global marketplace as a live-action series,” said Adelstein in a statement to Deadline. “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.”

Cowboy Bebop debuted in 1998 on Tokyo TV, and arrived in the U.S. in 2001 as the first anime to be broadcast on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest anime of all time, and its distinctive blend of science fiction and jazz music sets it apart as a pulpy but refined series with wide crossover appeal.

The 26-episode series focuses on Spike Spiegel, a bounty hunter (or “cowboy”) in 2071, and his partner Jet Black, who flies the good ship Bebop. The crew later expands with Faye Valentine, a femme fatale who can hold her own in the galaxy; Ed Wong, a hacker; and the very smart corgi Ein. Sunrise followed up the anime with a film, Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, in 2001. A live-action remake of the movie has been stuck in development hell for years.