Cowboy Bebop is one of the most hotly anticipated shows heading to Netflix right now, but aside from the stellar cast, there is very little known about the new series. In a new interview with I09, head writer, Javier Grillo-Marxuach sat down to talk about what fans can expect from the adaptation of the classic manga starring John Cho as Spike Spiegel, Daniella Pineda as Faye Valentine, Mustafa Shakir as Jet Black, Alex Hassell as Vicious, and Elena Satine as Ein.
In regards to maintaining the feel of the original material, Marxuach has this to say:
You can’t look at Cowboy Bebop and say, “Well, it’s just a take-off point. We’re going to give them different hair and different clothing, and we’re gonna call it something different. And it’s just sort of gonna be a loose thing.” If you’re doing Cowboy Bebop, you’re doing Cowboy Bebop. You know? It’s kind of like doing Star Wars.
Marxuach is also proud that the show is allowed to be weird:
Being a sci-fi nerd in the ‘90s meant you’d sit there and watch a show, and for the first act, you’re usually just getting information you already know. Flash forward to like almost 30 years later and TV is weird now, like TV is batshit crazy right now. It is hard to tell people how weird Game of Thrones is to me, having grown up in a world where the thing most like Game of Thrones was a show called Wizards and Warriors that was on CBS in the late ‘80s. We can be weird. We can look at anime and take design cues out of anime.
He also wants fans to know that they won’t just be getting a rehash of the stories that they’ve already seen:
We’re not going to go one-to-one on all of those stories because we’re also trying to tell the broader story of Spike Spiegel and the Syndicate, Spike Spiegel and Julia, Spike Spiegel and Vicious, and all that. But we are looking at the show and saying, “Who are some of the great villains in this show, and how can we put them into this into this broader narrative?” So that we are telling both of the big stories that Cowboy Bebop tells.
Everybody has a different idea of what the best version of a show is, and a lot of Cowboy Bebop fans believe that the anime is the best version of that show. We hope that we can convert them to look at our version of it, and think that it’s a wonderful translation, a wonderful addition to the original canon. We’re deep enough in a world that where fandom is important to the existence of shows, that people like me don’t ever really lose sight of that. I think that there are always going to be tone-deaf reboots of things and all of that, but we’re fans. You know, we come at this as fans. We love genre, we love science fiction, and we love Cowboy Bebop.
Finally, if you are worried we are going to get another white-washed adaptation like Ghost in The Shell, he had this to say:
“you can’t Scarlett Johansson this shit… We are making a show that takes place in a future that is multicultural, that is extraordinarily integrated and where those things are the norm.”
Cowboy Bebop is currently shut down due to a combination of COVID-19 quarantines and a knee injury that Cho suffered on-set, requiring surgical intervention.