The '90s saw a boom in the West for anime, with series such as DragonBall Z and films such as Akira helping to popularize the genre in Western markets. It looks like one of the most popular is getting a live-action adaptation for TV from the writer of Thor: Ragnarok.
Three, Two, One, Let's Jam
According to a report from Variety, Cowboy Bebop will be getting a live-action TV series from Tomorrow Studios. The studio, which formed a partnership between ITV Studios and Marty Adelstein, works largely in the TV space and had previously worked on a TV adaptation of the 2014's Snowpiercer. Sunset Inc., the studio behind the original anime, will executive produce the show, and it will be written by Chris Yost.
As mentioned, Yost had worked on Thor: Ragnarok, along with the previous film, Thor: The Dark World, and was recently signed on to write Black and Silver for Sony. This is part of a series of films Sony is planning based on Spider-Man characters that will be separate from anything Sony is doing with Marvel Studios and will follow Black Cat and Silver Sable.
For the uninitiated, Cowboy Bebop is set in the year 2071 and follows Spike Spiegel and the crew of the Bebop, a gang of bounty hunters, or cowboys in this universe, as they traverse the galaxy and hunt down bad guys. This puts them in the crosshairs of the Red Dragon Syndicate, one of the largest criminal organizations in the galaxy that's led by Vicious, Spike's former friend.
What Could Follow?
Anime is one of the last bit of untapped IPs left that haven't been snatched up by the major studios yet, though it does seem to be starting. Earlier, this saw the release of Ghost in the Shell, based on the '90s anime film of the same name. Despite having a star such as Scarlett Johansson in the lead, the film proved to be a financial and critical disappointment across the board.
However, that shouldn't dissuade studios from pursuing these properties given the rich variety of anime properties out there. Granted, not all lend themselves to live action, as DragonBall: Evolution proved, but there are plenty that does. Where Cowboy Bebop could translate for more of a sci-fi-driven show or film, something such as Berserk could be. It's a property based in dark fantasy but one that plays to a very realistically designed world. There are others such as One Punch Man that, while harder, could also work given the superhero craze in film and television.