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Cowboy Bebop is Apparently 'Too Awesome' for Fox to Make

by
September 23, 2009
Source: MTV

Cowboy Bebop

So we know that Keanu Reeves is still attached to play Spike Spiegel in a live-action Cowboy Bebop movie, whenever it gets made. However, what we don't know is how far along in the process the project is, especially since it doesn't have a director attached. Reeves updated MTV recently and revealed that it hasn't moved forward because Fox is concerned over the budget. Here's what he had to say: "There's a draft of the script, but the writer did such a great job [that] in order to make the movie, you would need half a billion dollars." I just love that quote. Was it really that awesome or did they just throw in as much as they could?

Apparently that writer is Peter Craig, who's been talking about the Cowboy Bebop movie for a while. To continue what Reeves was saying: "So the studio went, 'This movie is fantastic and it would cost half a billion dollars,' so he's doing a rewrite." And in terms of who (character-wise) is in it, well, Reeves says, "everyone is in there." Well that sounds like literally everyone and everything in the series. Why else would it cost to $500 million?! "The only challenge was to make a satisfying western narrative out of the kind of storytelling that happens. There's a great draft, so we're just trying to pull it back a little bit now."

I love that quote because I know it's some Fox exec just sitting there being like "we don't need this or that in a Cowboy Bebop movie." I doubt it would really cost $500 million, but they're probably thinking it needs to cost less than $100, when they don't realize that there is a huge following and it could make a lot of money if done right. And by done right, not only does that mean hiring a good director and screenwriter, but it also means not cutting down the budget like this just because the execs don't understand the potential. Oh well?

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Reader Feedback - 57 Comments

1

This saddens me greatly :[ Give it to another studio that can afford it D:

Kendoll on Sep 23, 2009

2

No, what this movie needs is a better Spike than Keanu Reeves!! Sorry if you're a fan!

Vegegeeta-geeta on Sep 23, 2009

3

Peter Craig don't re-write it! Cutting characters and whay seems to be an awesome plot because the studio is too cheap and don't want to shuffle out at least 200 million. If Spike and Vicious and Julia are not the essential plot then I don't really know about the final product.

Xerxex on Sep 23, 2009

4

This movie has fail written all over it. Hollywood always fucks up anime, which isn't good since most anime's do a fine job fucking themselves up. This is a sign from the heaven's - Stop this Movie!

SlashBeast on Sep 23, 2009

5

I'm interested in what they're doing with this movie, but I hope cutting back doesn't mean making it suck. And I also hope #4 is kidding, Evangelion? That show started off good...then went crazy. O.o *shivers* Well....what anime doesn't do that though?

Sabes on Sep 23, 2009

6

Hopefully this, along with the Neon Genesis: Evangelion movie, will NEVER get made. I own both of the above anime, and they are brilliant and wonderful in their own right. Hollywood: You're doing it wrong.

William Mize on Sep 23, 2009

7

nge and bebop are 2 of the best animes ever. if hollywood does end up making live actions of them i'll see them. so who really cares if they want to waste money making shitty remakes. i'm all for them losing money and still not learning from their mistakes. and if/when these remakes turn out to be good, then great. i'll be waiting...

lego on Sep 23, 2009

8

Keanu is fine! What I don't like is how stubborn fox is! -_-!! They seriously better not shit all over this!!

bara on Sep 23, 2009

9

I don't know Sabes, last I heard Evangelion is one of the most beloved and influential anime series' of all time (Newtype ranked it #1 [Cowboy Bebop was #2], IGN ranked it #10 in its list of top 100 animated series' [though it's their #1 anime])... so I somehow doubt William is kidding. And what a ridiculous overgeneralization to end with; Anime is just as diverse as any other storytelling media.

Dark Fist on Sep 23, 2009

10

@1 I'd like to second your comment!! Think of what Fox did to Predator, Fantastic Four, Dragon Ball, Etc. Cheap and fast production does not a good movie make...I think Confucius said that:P I love Bebop and although I am so afraid of it being ruined, I secretly want to see it made, but the only way to do it is do it right. I actually don't mind Keanu (I do like him as an actor) but would consider the lack of funding to be worse than any poor casting decisions, but that's just me.

Marc on Sep 23, 2009

11

#2 has it right. I don't mind Keanu, but I mind him for this role.

dRailer on Sep 23, 2009

12

@9 Dark Fist, I've watch a ton of anime, and I'm sorry, a lot of them can be pretty weird. =P I'm watched some that made me go "WTF" and enter into areas that other storytelling medias tend to not go. I'm entitled to my own opinion. And you don't have to throw out a bunch of stats to me about Evangelion. I enjoyed the series, I just don't see it as being turned into a movie.

Sabes on Sep 23, 2009

13

why wont they stop the madness? this movie will be trash and only cheapen the original material

hearts4711 on Sep 23, 2009

14

@12 Sabes: Actually, I do have to throw stats at you when you say something like "I also hope #4 is kidding, Evangelion?" as if you're either oblivious to or ignorant of the fact that so many people love the series. I'm relieved you've explained your opinion more thoroughly. But even so, this 'weirdness' that you feel is exclusive to anime must be relative to your experience. Is Evangelion weirder than, say, Eraserhead or Tim And Eric? Personally, I can think of countless bizarre live-action films and TV series', but only a handful of particularly strange anime. Perhaps though it's a cultural barrier for you? Just wondering.

Dark Fist on Sep 23, 2009

15

They could make a good Cowboy Bebop film. This budget farce is stupid, throwing money at a project doesn't make it any better. Night Watch and District 9 proved that a small budget but dedicated unknown actors can produce great films. Fuck Keanu Reeves, Fuck Fox and Fuck anyone who thinks you need half a billion dollars to make a one and a half hour film!

Crapola on Sep 23, 2009

16

man, i always felt that this should remain as an animation, knocking on heavens door was not bad, jus felt like a stretched episode, i know they can create something awesome given another time around. and as far as casting as keanu reeves as spike is laughable ! !!!! might as well prop a plank with a wig.

gray on Sep 23, 2009

17

Oh, sorry, "ignorant of" should be "ignoring".

Dark Fist on Sep 23, 2009

18

this should not be made! CowBoy Bebop was the greatest show ever and really doesn't need a live action movie running its awesomeness. but hearing that the script is amazing (if anyone can get there hands on it let me know and if i find it ill be sure to spread it around) kind of sells me on the idea. and Keanu can't be Spike... he just can't pull it off

DoomCanoe on Sep 23, 2009

19

This is the show that got me into Anime, I wouldnt mind seeing a live action movie.. only if it was done properly.

Nick on Sep 23, 2009

20

@ Dark Fist, I'm not really liking your attitude. You come off as if you're trying to be superior. I admit I'm not apart of the anime scene now, so I don't know the popularity of things. I was into all this when I was younger. And no, I don't remember seeing some of the things that were done in anime then, in anything I was watching. There was no Adult Swim. The most I remember you would get on TV is some gross jokes. It's not some sort of cultural barrier to me. Perhaps you haven't seen enough. I'm not going into a list. From what I remember off the top of my head Akira is one of the wierd ones, as well as Gantz. (I only saw two episodes of that though) Why is this such a big deal that you have to jump on me about it?

Sabes on Sep 23, 2009

21

Let's hope that they can do this properly. Making a movie out of something that has such a huge fan base and is as complex as the anime is risky. The last live action anime movie I saw, Wicked City, was horrible. Here is hoping that they can do this one correctly. They probably should leave well enough alone though. No need seeing a beloved series get "Hollywood" treatment.

Setrei on Sep 23, 2009

22

that's just wrong. Umm..hello...! Fox..! look what happened to Dragonball when things start to get cut out...honestly, look at the movies that put in the extra money into the budgets like transformers (first one) and look at titanic. Not saying all films will be like this, but the US is trying to capitalize on the anime market, but if you start changing things, you'll lose those who follow it and will only be criticized for it. The Godzilla movie, both Street Fighters, and dragonball have been successful in their own way, but not a huge hit as it was expected to be. With movies like Astroboy coming out, only time will tell if the anime market can truly hit the US on the big screen.

JL on Sep 23, 2009

23

on a second note, I'd like to hear what Sunrise thinks of it...

JL on Sep 23, 2009

24

I say take out Keanu Reeves as Spike (he's too old) and let another studio take a stab at it...Fox isn't the greatest studio to trust too many properties to...look at Dragonball Evolution and Street Fighter as examples...just sayin...

Dude on Sep 23, 2009

25

they better not fuck this up, best fuckin anime experience there is man.

Sho on Sep 23, 2009

26

Wow...I had new profound faith in this. Now I wonder if Fox or whoever picks this up will screw it over. This show has such a cult following it would make profits back so quickly, if done right, and then some. If Keanu is doing this, I think I can trust him more now but acting wise, I do wonder how he will be as Spike. Spike is spunky, comical...simply the coolest most awesome character ever! Keanu just isn't that.

Tra la la la la di da on Sep 23, 2009

27

give the movie to WB....they can do it....and the most important, WB have money....

saf on Sep 23, 2009

28

give it to legendary pictures... i dont trust fox.... o well... keanu makes not want to see it made anyway

dan on Sep 23, 2009

29

I have nothing against Keanu Reeves, but I think Spike is too complex of a character for him to fully portray. Joseph Gordon-Levitt would be a better choice. Although a live action version is just a bad idea.

Russell on Sep 24, 2009

30

Intergalactic bounty hunters. Of course the budget will need to be huge! and I TOTALLY agree with #29 Joe Gordon-Levitt would be awesome for Spike.

Lacey on Sep 24, 2009

31

I'll direct it! For practically nothing

Google the Oct8pus on Sep 24, 2009

32

#29 @Russell...I agree, he would be one of the best choices to play this character...he can definitely pull it off, the cost shouldn't be an issue, if Joss Whedon pulled off Serenity w/ a budget of $40m they can make this film at a reasonable budget that could potentially reach $100m maybe less, depending on the director...I wrote enough, I'm just not too impressed with Fox lately...seems like they've poured all of their money into Avatar.

Dude on Sep 24, 2009

33

Joe Gordon-Levitt is tiny and a self admitted klutz with two left feet. He could no more learn kung-fu than fly to the moon. He'd laugh in your face for even suggesting it.

Cairo on Sep 24, 2009

34

I want to give Reeves a chance to guy has the talent he just dosen't tap into it, I first noticed his acting chops in The Matrix (The first one) then again in A Scanner Darkly, but now I think his chance to play Spike has passed, Reeves is in his forties where as Spike is 27, now as for Gordon-Levitt he's 28 and can pull off the Spike hair (see Brick). but that's a worry placed into the whole cast, Jet? Faye? Edward? Vicious? Julia? EIN!? the cast is the first step in it all. I want this film to happen I do, along with Akira. And if Craig did write this "amazing" screenplay then he better take that baby somewhere else to a studio willing to fund his vision of the script. This 500 million thing is probably really only needs 200-250 million dollars to be made.

Xerxex on Sep 24, 2009

35

DOES NOBODY REMIMBER DRAGONBALL Z??? Or Chun-Li? Or Wolverine? Fox will cut and cut and cut the budget to the bone and beyond, until the movie has the production values of a bad tv show. The vast majority of Fox action movies look cheap because Fox refuses to spend any money on them. They have no respect for the audience or the directors. They'll hand the director $5 and a box of string and say, "Go make me a blockbuster" and then blame the director when the film ends up looking shitty and CHEAP.

Fox is the devil on Sep 24, 2009

36

Came.

danielvutran on Sep 24, 2009

37

Cairo what the fuck is your problem with JGL? . He could no more learn kung-fu than fly to the moon...nice. Besides spike is a student of jeet kune do by the master Bruce Lee.

Xerxex on Sep 24, 2009

38

This is not going to get more than $60 million at FOX. I will eat my hat if it does. The X-Men got $75. Cowboy Bebop WILL NOT get that much. Not unless that script made the execs simultaneously orgasm during the pitch. Or the marketing team. Whichever...

Squiggly_P on Sep 24, 2009

39

Reeves is perfect for this movie!!!!!!!!! have you even watched more than two episodes??? cant believe they are making it 🙂

zach on Sep 24, 2009

40

We can bitch and moan all we want. Bottom line. If the movie gets made, I'm watching it. It's that simple. No matter how crappy the movie is, I'm watching it. I knew Dragon ball was going to suck really hard balls. and I watched it. more importantly, I PAID to watch it. So even if I know this movie is going to suck extremly hard balls, I'm watching the damn thing, cause I refuse to not watch anything Cowboy Bebop related. Now if only Fox would realise how many people are going to watch the thing. Or maybe they know how many of us are watching it (even if it stinks) and are just trying to get the highest possible profit margine...by spending as little money as possible.

kody on Oct 19, 2009

41

Well all the studios are dealing with a Great Recession as well as many execs are quite gun shy about the "Superman Returns" fiasco (a quarter of a billion on a movie that didn't do nearly as well as expected). Keeping the budget tight is not as big an issue as the content of the script. A tight budget forces directors to be creative and make hard creative choices that often makes a film better and the story tighter. Singer had 250 million for SR and pissed away a million of it on a scene that lasted about 15 seconds on screen. THAT is a waste of money that didn't help the film one bit!

Zinjo on Oct 22, 2009

42

Serenity got 50 million from Universal and look at what Zoic did with that! Unfortunately Serenity had a few laggy spots in the film which kinda killed the momentum at the climax, but it was still a solid story. If they use a smart, effective SFX company like Zoic to do their space effects they'll get a lot of bang for their bucks. If they go with ILM, they'll be toast...

Zinjo on Oct 23, 2009

43

Dear Fox STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM MY COWBOY BEBOP

Stephen *MetalJesus Hughes on Oct 23, 2009

44

im sorry...but...i really am a fan of keanu...but Bebop is off limits to him. this is blasphemy i tell ya!...next thing you know, they will make him a detective in LA and ex CIA agent Black is his partner. and they are on the hunt to protect little 12 year old genius hacker Edward who hacked (by error) the Red Dragon main frames which even for the world alliance and the Jedi Counsil , is impossible to hack. and they have Red Dragon inside double agent Feye Valentine (played by Angelina Jolie in tomb raider clothing) who is the only person who knows Super kid hacker Edwards location. did i meantion that they will probably have Ein the genetically enhanced Talking dog who is Edwards partner? all in all, i am trying to be very optimistic about this...but the fact that i KNOW they are not going to use no name actors for this is really going to kill it...executives just dont realize that what murdered the xmen trilogy was more the fact of all these named actors than the actual plots...budgets werent bad for them either (daredevil and company included) now, for them to think that half a bill is tooo much money for this? then they got something else comming...because the movie will make money either way with whichever budget is used (no one in their right mind wouldnt go see the movie no matter how bad it was...even if to just complain) but the fans will start burnings and mass suicides and stuff..God o god what will happen when they get to the next letters in the alphabet...o Rei Ayanami, what will happen to you...

Tomas Velez on Nov 11, 2009

45

Am I the only one who thinks Edward Norton would be like a million times better to play Spike?!

DJG on Nov 14, 2009

46

Fucking studio execs wouldn't know good art if it jumped up and bit them in the ass. They just go by popularity, but they don't understand why series like Cowboy Bebop were popular to begin with. The series was remarkable for its diversity of genres, its integration of music, and rambling storyline. Episodes were called "sessions" for a reason: the type of the music reflected the tone of the episode. I actually thought that worst episodes were the ones with the Spike, Vicious, and Julia plotline. The other episodes were so enjoyable because of the interactions between Spike, Faye, Jet, and Edward. It's impossible to convey all of that in a one and a half hour movie. The animated movie felt strained enough. I shudder to think what FOX's final product will look like. That being said, Keanu Reeves would make an awful Spike. He has none of Spike's cool charm or offbeat humor. I could see a good performance from Joseph Gordon-Levitt, so long as Fox actually took the time to make a good movie. However, I think Adrian Grenier from Entourage would make the best Spike. Is there some way to write to the idiots at Fox?

brainlessfan on Nov 22, 2009

47

Fox Should not make anymore anime movies. Dragonball: Evolution? Give it to Rouge films!!!

Codyy on Nov 28, 2009

48

Spike is just one of those characters that has such nuances and is so expressive. There is no way Keanu Reeves could portray that adequately. I just can't picture KR as giving Spike the same sense of humor and emotion that he has in the anime. I personally think they need to find some unknown actor to portray him. Though tbh, my preference would be that they simply didn't do this movie. I don't know where Hollywood got the idea that they can do anything and everything better. Sometimes the source material is too good to try to expand on or redo. Just leave it alone already! All this movie would do is give me a headache and cheapen the anime's existence.

heavenwaits on Nov 29, 2009

49

no way reeves cannot play spike NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER DON'T MAKE THIS A MOVIE

Edward on Dec 15, 2009

50

I'm very worried about the movie too and can understand everyone's feelings when they say the movie is going to be horrible or not to make the movie.But the one thing that assures me that this wo'nt be a crappy live-action movie like Dragon Ball is the fact the Shinichiro Watanabe(Director of the animes, Samurai Champloo and Cowboy Bebop) is keeping a close eye on the project.I know Watanabe won't let them ruin Cowboy Bebop and will make sure it becomes the best movie in the country.

Ein on Dec 26, 2009

51

Naw, naw, this is a good thing, if the movie is never brought into vision then that means it wont suck haha. you cant recreate The Bebop, you just cant do it, they are right it is in fact "Too awesome" to even do anything with. lets keep it that way. *watches toys in the attic*

Crissdudeman on Jan 8, 2010

52

Sorry but for my money Keanu Reeves isn't nearly cool enough to play Spike. This remains one of my favorite series of all times, and the thought of him butchering the image I have of one of my favorite characters just makes me sad. There has to be a better choice.

Fallia on Jan 14, 2010

53

I don't want to drag on Reeves necessarily, but wouldn't the movie be better if the casting were a little more, dare I say it, creative?

just_passing_through on Jan 25, 2010

54

Hopefully this dies where it stands soon, because I see it going down the dark road that they took Dragonball Z on. The animated movie made after the series was amazing, and that's how anime should always be made, be it for tv or the big screen, *animated*. Leave the anime movies to the original series developers, and let it be in the original animation style that it was made for. Not every anime movie needs to be live action nowadays. That way, the original fanbase is drawn in, and the movie actually makes money, and then even non-fans will wanna try the movie, and dare I say, even like it? Making an adult, engaging series like Cowboy Bebop into an animated big screen movie could prove that animation is not just a kid movie ploy, and it can easily draw in an adult movie-going population. But no, Hollywood only sees live action as a big major movie seller to adults these days, and therefore they will continue to try and fail at making these anime movies until every great series has a piece of crap movie associated with it. Even if this time, the Cowboy Bebop live movie dies, you can bet someday they will try again.

Spacecookie89 on Feb 5, 2010

55

Keanu Reeves is a horrible choice for Spike. Reeves plays wooden, one dimmensional characters while Spike is extremely complex- from his physical mannerisms to his shifting behavior- honestly the range of the actor has to be amazing. Spike swallows poker chips, runs from clowns, calmly faces death and hates bad cooking. The actor for this role has to be very versatile. I'd suggest Toby Kebell. If anyone has ever seen him as Johnny Quid, he's got incredible range and (though I don't care about looks to much) he is prophetically the exact same age as Spike. Faye is also highly complex- she's quite the chameleon; uncaring but overly involved, shallow but surprisingly deep. Whoever plays her can't just be some hot chick like Megan Fox. Honestly, no names come to mind. Mickey Rourke for Jet. Nuff said. Ron Perlman would be a decent back up, but he doesn't really have Jet's soft side. Ed- Not Ellen Page or Dakota Fanning! I keep seeing that, and it just wouldn't work. Page is clearly an adult and Fanning is too much of the cold, grumpy adult like teen. For Ed they need an obvious little girl. Best suggestion I can make is to kidnap a skinny kid with ADD, feed them skittles till their brain is ready to explode and film. Ed's depth is in her Pippy Longstocking qualities- all else is going to hell around her but she manages to be insanely lucky enough to avoid being damaged by the insanity. Part of her charm is that her innocence will eventually be damaged. They need a really talented child actor. I keep hearing Joss Whedon's name brought up and I gotta say 'no' for him as director. This movie needs to be paced very carefuly- very slowly. Long periods of characters shooting the breeze, strange screen shots from odd angles. Film noir feel must be present. Honestly I just say give teh directing to Watannabe. He's the only one that could really pull it off, though the Cohen brothers could be a good second.

bluedeedoo on Apr 6, 2010

56

I've read countless comments on casting and directors for this movie since it was initially posted. Wow almost 5 years ago. But I would have to say the only one ever closest enoungh to a real casting calll would be bluedeedoo's. I would almost say the exact same thing just that Jet needs someone who isnt typecast so much maybe Lance Henriksen, but someone younger. Great post. I want to see this made so bad I want to help finance it. I sincerely hope this is made. cowboy fan D

dbrads on Dec 28, 2010

57

I'm just hoping that it would go beyond all our expectations, if they ever even make it with a low budget. Really hope it won't disappoint all the Bebop fans out there like myself who have loved this anime ever since childhood and have dreamed of even living such a cool and fearless life like the Bebop gang.  Although it does get me wondering who would even come close to having the the amount of bad-ass sexy-hotness that faye has to play her. The weird, cute and innocent characteristics of Ed, that when Playing her, she would not look stupid and become someone that a lot of people would find annoying and hate but rather the opposite. The beauty, caring and mysterious vibe that Julia gives out. And also, I just dont think Keanu would be right for Spike ANYMORE, I mean come on! the guy's freakin 47 aready and spike is suppose to be 27! Although spike is 6'1 and so is Keanu, but still. maybe it would've been better if he were to play spike at a younger age.  I'm just really scared and hoping it wouldn't ruin any of the perfect memories and cool actions scenes that the Cowboy Bebop Anime has already inputted into my Brain. Not like Avatar, "Last Airbender" movie was such a joke! Please oh Please fox! Find A good, no Great! Cast, Director, Screen Writer etc. and make Cowboy Bebop a box office hit just like it truly deserves!!!!! The Characters, their Background stories, their past, What all of them have been through, all their adventures!!! its all been so amazingly and unbelievably great and touching so far!!!! DON'T YOU DARE FUCKING RUIN IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Vikcaedo on Jun 11, 2012

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