Cowboy Bebop Live-Action Series

ChipNoir

Internet Ghost
AKA
Mister Spooks.
#3
This is preferable to a movie at least. You can't movie-fy a series. You can do an OAV, you can prequel, but fuck, every anime adaptation I've ever seen has been a mostly collosal failure.
 
#4
But, what are they just going to do the series again but this time with live action? At least a movie can just be an "adaptation" and try to distill the essence of the show without just showing it to you again in an inferior way. Not that I want that either, of course.
 

ChipNoir

Internet Ghost
AKA
Mister Spooks.
#5
But, what are they just going to do the series again but this time with live action? At least a movie can just be an "adaptation" and try to distill the essence of the show without just showing it to you again in an inferior way. Not that I want that either, of course.
Honestly I don't know, because I've never seen this happen before. I'm sure its been done, but nothing I've ever seen. I've seen foreign shows adaptated with mix results, but never an attempt to adapt a manga/anime into a Western action series.

In my experience, Korean/Chinese/Japanese adaptations into shows has had a favorable result. Prince of Tennis and Host Club were pretty successful.
 

Lulcielid

Media Thinker
AKA
Lucis Caelum
#6
I am interested on the project, looking forward to it.
This is preferable to a movie at least. You can't movie-fy a series. You can do an OAV, you can prequel, but fuck, every anime adaptation I've ever seen has been a mostly collosal failure.
I would say you can if you can nail the execution. The Rurouni Kenshi live action film trillogy comes to my mind (I recommend watching them, they are great adaptations + good films on their own right).
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1979319/
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3029558/
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3029556/
 

Theozilla

Kaiju Member
#8
First reaction is definitely a lukewarm "but why", especially if they don't get Yoko Kanno's to do the music, like half of Cowbo Bebop's staying power ands impact comes from it's unique score.

Anyways if the live action Cowboy Bebop series decides not to whitewash the cast, would it be more accurate/faithful to cast an actor of Japanese or Chinese descent for Spike? Since Spike was modeled/designed after Yusaku Matsuda (a Japanese actor), but his in-universe background had him working for a Chinese crime syndicate. Or would it be more appropriate to cast someone of Ashkenazi Jewish descent because of Spike’s last name? Or perhaps someone who is a mix of all three?
 

ChipNoir

Internet Ghost
AKA
Mister Spooks.
#9
First reaction is definitely a lukewarm "but why", especially if they don't get Yoko Kanno's to do the music, like half of Cowbo Bebop's staying power ands impact comes from it's unique score.

Anyways if the live action Cowboy Bebop series decides not to whitewash the cast, would it be more accurate/faithful to cast an actor of Japanese or Chinese descent for Spike? Since Spike was modeled/designed after Yusaku Matsuda (a Japanese actor), but his in-universe background had him working for a Chinese crime syndicate. Or would it be more appropriate to cast someone of Ashkenazi Jewish descent because of Spike’s last name? Or perhaps someone who is a mix of all three?
Its gonna be white-washed. There's no getting around this.
 
#10
That discussion is just another reason this is a dumb idea....but characters named "Spike Spiegel," "Jet Black," and "Faye Valentine" are Japanese? This isn't exactly Makoto Kusanagi.
 

Theozilla

Kaiju Member
#11
That discussion is just another reason this is a dumb idea....but characters named "Spike Spiegel," "Jet Black," and "Faye Valentine" are Japanese? This isn't exactly Makoto Kusanagi.
Jet Black being white isn't what most people concerned about whitewashing would object to, it's the other characters of the Bebop crew.

Faye Valentine has her ethnicity stated in the show, she's Singaporean. Her current name is one that was given to her by the debt-con people who resuscitated her.

Radical Edward is explicitly dark-skinned, and her given name (and her father's) is Turkish, so she's not white either.

As for Spike the ambiguity with his ethnicity is why I posed the question. Like the creators of the show explicitly stated he was modeled after a Japanese actor (and Shinichirō Watanabe himself), that's a fact. While his in-universe background also hints at a Chinese background, in addition to Bruce Lee and John Woo being other influences for his character. But as I acknowledged, his name is indicative Ashkenazi Jewish descent (though the creators also said they only picked the name Spiegel because it sounded cool to them), so casting a white/white passing Jewish actor could also be seen as fitting, but I thinks it is reasonable to see why people might object to that. Also Shinichirō Watanabe himself stated, stated that diversity of race and skin-tone was a pretty important element for him when creating Cowboy Bebop, so casting a WASP actor for Spike I think wouldn't be very appropriate/reasonably objectionable with that in mind.
 
#12
I forgot about Faye, you are correct. And yeah I didn't mention Edward because I knew she wasn't Japanese OR white.

As for Spike, yeah I dunno, sounds like a classic no-win scenario.
 

ChipNoir

Internet Ghost
AKA
Mister Spooks.
#13
Given how hard people were pulling for Keanu Reeves for the erstwhile film adaptation, I'm going to guess they're going to try for a younger unknown that looks like him. That's really impossible to avoid the temptation of for the suits paying for this.

If you think about it, Cowboy Beebop is a logical choice for a first time venture like this. It's a classic that a lot of people were introduced to anime through, and it's a genre that already has a fanbase. There is a huge market for space-faring rabbles. They'll probably try to mirror a little Firefly in there to snap up that audience that's felt abandoned for so long.
 

Channy

Bad Habit
AKA
Ruby Rose, Lucy
#14
Is it going to TV or Netflix?

Also Edward is a pretty iconically* ambiguous character, they'd.. hopefully do their best with her.

*Yes I made up a word
 
AKA
Mr. Ite
#16
Live action remakes. Live action remakes. Live action remakes. Unghhh

“You told me once to forget the past, because it doesn’t matter, but you’re the one still tied to the past.”

Although just because it’s unnecessary doesn’t mean it’s bad. Lots of dedicated artists are getting employed by this. And it’s not like the original is going anywhere, it only means that its potential future audience will have to choose between the original and the remake, and my appreciation for the original makes me fear that it’ll be cast aside, and that people will be getting a sub-par version of the story. But that’s for them to decide I guess. I would be equally upset if they “watched” the original while cleaning the house and only paying half attention. Surely that’s the same as watching a watered-down remake? I guess it all boils down to me wanting people to like the thing that I like as much as I like that thing.
 

X-SOLDIER

Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
#17
I also think that remakes that also change the media format of the story (book, comic, animation, game, tv show, film, etc.) at least have something that they can offer that's more objectively different, and a reason to retell a story.

Little things come to mind, like in the adaptation of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (which I love) always being fundamentally unable to execute some things that books can: Specifically the man with the thistledown hair places a finger into a box that when described uses the sentence, “To be more precise it was the color of heartache.” which doesn't have ANY way of being displayed visually without lensing it into a specific interpretation. (This is one of the things that I talk about when people ask why folks still play Pen & Paper RPGs when there're Video Games). Plus, in any adaptation, there are things that get altered or cut that the fandom was anticipating (pineapples in the case of JS&MN).

I think it's important to figure out what it is about the original medium that you were exposed to that you find most important when looking at a new adaptation.

The Lion King is getting a realistic remake, and some people are REALLY excited whereas others are apprehensive – often because of how they're emotionally attached to the specifics of the animated version, the stage play, etc. and what they feel that this version will or won't offer. I think that overall, animation into live action carries a REALLY heavy stigma because of how poorly it's been done in the past. That was also true of comic book films for long while, and is still the case with video game films (the Rampage adaptation with the Rock is still the highest rated video game movie adaptation on RT). It's not to say that they couldn't be done, or couldn't be done damn well, it's that we don't frequently get an intersection that allows that to happen. While it's an animation, Castlevania has been doing AMAZING work their storytelling format from what the games built.

Given that stories told in 2D animation are essentially boiled down to artwork & voice cast, those things stick VERY strongly with their audiences. An easy example is this: People who are all HUGE fans of a manga may have very, VERY different attachments to the sub/dub voice casts – even though at face value they are all people who passionately love the manga and the anime. As such, I think that the innate attachment to stories told in animations have nostalgia that is FAR stronger attached to the presentation styles than to the stories themselves – even when the stories are really damned good, and could be adapted well.

Arguably, there's nothing that Cowboy Bebop or The Lion King would need that's beyond the capabilities of our current live action or phororealistic-looking CGI technology for two stories that're set in a version of what's always supposed to've been the real world. So, you're telling a story about the real world, finally visually set in the real world – that seems like a perfectly fine reason to do so in those cases. I'd also argue that there isn't any perfect way to tell a story, no matter how much you liked it. Most player-driven story video games of text-based adventure games were essentially a choose-your-own-adventure book, which is just a more rigid tabletop RPG system – but depending on how you consumed it, you might remember the music or who was narrating it as being important to your experience of it. Hell, even Groundhog Day or Edge of Tomorrow could be adapted as games or a choose your own adventure book, and would have a different, but deeply satisfying experiences depending on how it was done, and how you experienced it.


SO, now that all that tl;dr is there, it brings me to – Assuming that it's handled correctly, is there anything that you think that a live-action adaptation of Cowboy Bebop can't do that the anime did? Conversely, is there anything that you can think of that the live-action adaptation would be capable of that you've always wanted to see?




X :neo:
 

Roger

Novice DM
AKA
Minato
#18
Arguably, there's nothing that Cowboy Bebop or The Lion King would need that's beyond the capabilities of our current live action or phororealistic-looking CGI technology for two stories that're set in a version of what's always supposed to've been the real world. So, you're telling a story about the real world, finally visually set in the real world – that seems like a perfectly fine reason to do so in those cases. I'd also argue that there isn't any perfect way to tell a story, no matter how much you liked it. Most player-driven story video games of text-based adventure games were essentially a choose-your-own-adventure book, which is just a more rigid tabletop RPG system – but depending on how you consumed it, you might remember the music or who was narrating it as being important to your experience of it. Hell, even Groundhog Day or Edge of Tomorrow could be adapted as games or a choose your own adventure book, and would have a different, but deeply satisfying experiences depending on how it was done, and how you experienced it.
A cartoon's ability to give animals what we consider expressive faces is definitely an crucial advantage when it comes to telling a story about an anthropomorphised animal kingdom, it doesn't matter how photorealistic our CGI technology get, no going around that.
 
#19
Also, live action Cowboy Bebop basically already exists - Firefly. They aren't identical of course, but they're similar enough that I feel like anything from Cowboy Bebop that you might want to see done in live action is basically done for you there.
 

X-SOLDIER

Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
#20
A cartoon's ability to give animals what we consider expressive faces is definitely an crucial advantage when it comes to telling a story about an anthropomorphised animal kingdom, it doesn't matter how photorealistic our CGI technology get, no going around that.
I unquestionably 100% disagree with the entirety of that claim for a vast number of reasons.

Animated characters' facial design and expressions are things that we've definitely become accustomed to in storytelling, but I wouldn't call it an advantage that there's no getting around. Those simplified mediums leverage a lot of caricature-like techniques to over-emphazise certain features, especially around eyes and facial proportions – usually to make them more closely resemble infants. This design is pretty universal these days – but importantly it's also done to human characters. The reason it's done at all is that animation was historically a simplified from film medium, and it needed to be able to translate a lot of subtlety in what our faces express emotionally via a medium that wasn't capable of capturing all the smaller nuances, so they focused all the effort on the ones we use to read emotion. That technique being applied to our depiction of real people is already something that's presented issues with more detailed CGI animated films' character designs, especially of women. That last article in particular does a really good job of showing that our emotional association to animation when compared to emotional expression to real things is heavily learned and curated as a part of the medium.

Simply put, the simplified and exaggerated expressions most often used in classic animation aren't at all necessary for us empathizing or portraying projected emotions with non-human characters at all, but rather something specific to that medium itself. Especially when it comes to real or photorealistic depictions, those techniques are just flat-out unnecessary. When it comes to anthropomorphizing the animal kingdom specifically, we've already been doing that sort of thing for a long time on film. The Incredible Journey / Homeward Bound are some classic examples that mostly just tie in to the way that we attribute human emotions to pets. When it comes to CGI, performance capture and how the actors utilize that essentially just like a costume, which Andy Serkis describes well in LotR, Kong, Tintin & Planet of the Apes. In addition to that, there's all the post-production animation work to add in detail a creature's biological features that help convey those expressions on realistic non-human creatures like Smaug. That end result both incorporates and displays a lot more elements that can all be combined into a performance that much more closely mirrors the nuances of how we actually perceive more detailed emotions, and combine them with how we anthropomorphize things in real life all the time.

tl;dr – Simplified animation over exaggerates to get accuracy out of the very little it has to work with, whereas photorealistic CGI can succeed by leveraging all the subtlety that real life possesses.

Also, live action Cowboy Bebop basically already exists - Firefly. They aren't identical of course, but they're similar enough that I feel like anything from Cowboy Bebop that you might want to see done in live action is basically done for you there.
So, if we're assuming I were someone who'd only seen Firefly, is there any reason to watch the original Cowboy Bebop at all, or is it basically just a cartoon version of something I've already seen before?





X :neo:
 
AKA
Mr. Ite
#21
Firefly and Bebop are so very very different what in the heck! The concept of Space Cowboy is as different in those two mediums as it would be if you were to compare either of them with the film “Space Cowboys.”

Firefly is rugged, witty, and minimalist. The frontier, loneliness, the life of an outlaw. The papa’s-porch violin is the soundtrack and if there’s an action sequence in an episode, it’s probably a shootout. It has more in common with Trigun. Cowboy Bebop is slick, cool, full of colourful characters and neon film noir aesthetics. The outlaws are who the main characters are after. It’s more like Blade Runner meets Charlie’s Angels. The music is... how can I even describe it??? You have big band, blues harmonica, jazz, washboard-folk. The action sequences are either gun-fu or space dogfights. I don’t see a comparison between it and Firefly at all.
 
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looneymoon

hedgehog pandacat
AKA
Rishi
#24
lbr American takes on non-American media has to prove itself to be brilliant, otherwise it's tired crap. I don't really know at this point why any of these adaptations are even worth mentioning, much less looking forward to.
 
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