John Cho to play Spike Spiegel in Netflix’s upcoming live-action Cowboy Bebop series

Daniella Pineda and Mustafa Shakir are also set to star as Faye and Jet Black

cowboy bebop netflix series john cho
Cowboy Bebop (Sunrise)

    The arm of Cowboy Bebop has extended over American pop culture for so long now that seeing a live-action version actually start to come together feels almost surreal. In 2001, Bebop became the first anime series to be broadcast on Adult Swim, and would prove boundlessly influential on a great deal of what followed there. More broadly, popular stories from Firefly to Kill Bill and onward have echoed the original series’ untouchable mix of pathos, humor, lavish world design, and the kinds of unforgettable characters that build obsessives out of fans.

    Not too long ago, Netflix announced that it will finally be bringing a live-action Cowboy Bebop series to its streaming service, after years of failed attempts on both the big and small screens to mount a remake of the shorter-than-you-remember original run. (There are only 26 total episodes for the new series to work from.) And today, via Twitter, the company answered one of the biggest questions surrounding the new series: who’s playing Spike and Faye and Jet Black?

    For all involved, life is about to change, because they’re about to jump headfirst into one of the more dedicated (and sometimes obsessive) fans out there. Regardless, if we’re going to keep insisting that Keanu Reeves is too old to play Spike, a role for which he was physically born, Cho is another excellent choice. You might also recognize Shakir from his work as Bushmaster on the now-cancelled Luke Cage, and Pineda from her key supporting role in last year’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. They’ll play Jet Black and Faye Valentine, respectively. Hassell, meanwhile, has been cast as the villian Vicious.


    Netflix has yet to announce a release date for the early-in-production series, but between this and Neon Genesis Evangelion ruining a new generation of viewers’ lives when the streaming giant re-releases it on June 21st, 2019 looks like the year when a company with endless cash decided to bring anime back to the U.S. forefront.