Much like Akira and Ghost In The Shell at the time, earlier efforts seemed almost boundless for 20th Century Fox’s hopes for a feature-length live-action adaptation of Watanabe Shinichiro’s 1998 animated series, Cowboy Bebop, based on the preceding manga publication from Kadokawa and Tokyopop a year earlier from author Cain Kuga. However, it has been over six years since veteran producer Erwin Stoff made it publicly known he was working to help make this possible, and even with the attachment of Watanabe as one of the film’s associate producers close to the original material along with animation company, Sunrise Inc., it appears progress has been nothing short of languishing.
By May of last year, things felt a little more optimistic for the film, for which John Wick star, actor Keanu Reeves was reportedly tacked on to play the lead, late 21st century Mars-born intergalactic bounty hunter Spike Spiegel and his ragtag team of associates aboard their spaceship, Bebop in the year 2071 on a mission to investigate the fictional drug “Red Eye”. Details were scant but the team was in place to develop the film with Peter Craig providing the screenplay. But by about a year ago, Reeves stated to the public in a Reddit AMA that it didn’t appear the film would get off the ground with him involved.
Nary has a word been said about that project while things have been moving forward with regard to other studios like Dreamworks’ Ghost In The Shell and the on-again/off-again activity of Non-Stop helmer Jaume Collet-Serra’s Akira for Warner Bros. But, Watanabe did speak to a London Comic Con panel to discuss this month status of where things are for the film, and while I won’t quote what he said, you can tell he wasn’t too comfortable answering the question in the course of being as vague as possible in his explanation. Clearly, it’s a sensitive issue, and one I think we all can hope will sort itself out soon enough.
In the meantime, Funimation and Amazon will be releasing two premium editions of the popular animated series on Blu-Ray this December.
Watch the video below courtesy of Red Carpet News and stay tuned for more info.
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