ITV Studios has announced a joint venture to produce a live-action TV adaptation of Japanese cult anime series Cowboy Bebop.
The project springs from Los Angele-based Tomorrow ITV Studios, a joint venture agreement between American television producer Marty Adelstein (whose credits include Good Behavior and Prison Break) and ITV Studios US Group, which was launched in 2014 to develop, pitch and produce one-hour drama and comedy projects, which are distributed by ITV Studios Global Entertainment.
The adaptation will be executive produced by Midnight Radio as well as Sunrise, the studio behind the original 26-episode series, which is widely recognised as one of the greatest anime series’ to date, mixing themes of the western with a science-fiction setting and a unique cast of characters.
Perhaps best known as the head writer of the Marvel Comics animated series The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the show will be written by Chris Yost (also the writer of Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok, and known for his work on Max Steel), will follow the adventures of Spike Spiegel and his rag-tag crew of bounty hunters who travel through space on a quest to capture the galaxy’s most wanted criminals.
The original anime previously span out a successful film and video games. Two Cowboy Bebop manga series have also been released, both published by Kadokawa Shoten and serialised in Asuka Fantasy DX. Both series – Cowboy Bebop: Shooting Star , launched in 1997, written and illustrated by Cain Kuga and Cowboy Bebop, written and illustrated by Yutaka Nanten, launched in 1998 – were licensed by Tokyopop for release in the United States.
Tomorrow Studios’ Marty Adelstein and Becky Clements (Good Behavior, Aquarius) as well as Matthew Weinberg are in line to produce the new whow.
“We are excited to work with Sunrise in bringing this beloved anime to the US and global marketplace as a live-action series,” said Adelstein.
“The animated version has long resonated with audiences worldwide, and with the continued, ever growing, popularity of anime, we believe a live action version will have an incredible impact today.”
• Find Cowboy Bebop media and comics on amazon.co.uk – using this link helps support downthetubes
• Official Cowboy Bebop web site (in Japanese)