Cowboy Bebop Live-Action Series Cancelled At Netflix; No Season 2
The wildly ambitious, long-awaited and delayed Cowboy Bebop live-action adaptation is no more. The Netflix original series received a very poor reception from fans and critics alike, so we now have confirmation that Cowboy Bebop is cancelled. While it’s not entirely surprising, it’s definitely upsetting for the minority of fans of the show, (such as myself) who really enjoyed the show as a watered-down, but a still fun, version of the original anime and wanted more. But with confirmation of the cancellation, there will no longer be a Cowboy Bebop season 2, despite how season 1 ended.
Cowboy Bebop Cancelled at Netflix
Image via Netflix.
Cowboy Bebop was one of the more daunting adaptations from an anime medium into live-action. The show featured very high concept themes, morals and symbolism, while still retaining very silly and high-energy vibes. Not to mention that any attempt at trying to classify it in one specific genre would be difficult. So from the get-go, there were many challenges to the show becoming a live-action version of itself.
Having seen Cowboy Bebop season 1, I could see the liberties the creators took to adapt the anime. In my season 1 non-spoiler review, I discuss the things I loved about Cowboy Bebop’s live-action despite those liberties. And even, how those liberties enhanced this version over the anime. But when breaking down the whole series in my spoiler Podcast review, I did acknowledge all the changes they made, and how that might not have resonated with all kinds of audiences. It seems like that was the majority of the audience, and given its poor reception, the cancellation of Cowboy Bebop kind of makes sense. But it’s a bit more complicated than that.
What Made Netflix Announce Cowboy Bebop’s Cancellation So Quickly?
Image via Netflix.
Despite the storytelling challenges Cowboy Bebop presented, there were other behind-the-scenes and practical issues as well. Starting with the production having to shut down for months due to John Cho’s injury. These types of unplanned delays eat a lot into a production’s budget, as all the main players, such as cast and crew, have to be retained while they wait for the star to recover. While in the case of someone like Tom Cruise in the Mission Impossible movies, those delays make sense given how much the staying power of the movie has to do with the star. In the case of Cowboy Bebop, it might definitely have been a contributing factor to the rising product cost.
Not to mention that the world they adapted, was all in space, in an alternative historical version of Earth and just totally CGI backgrounds in some cases. The whole series was set in some type of cyberpunk neo-noir futuristic sci-fi version of Earth, and other planets. There’s a lot of spaceships, complex action set pieces and a lot of visual effects. All of which is from the source material. So they kind of had to do it. But combine all these things with the fact the series didn’t get the best reviews, it probably didn’t make it worth it for Netflix to continue with a Cowboy Bebop season 2.
No Cowboy Bebop Season 2, Despite Season 1’s Cliffhanger Ending.
Image via Netflix.
With Cowboy Bebop cancelled at Netflix, it does put an end to high hopes that those minorities that liked the show had. Season 1 ended with our main characters, not in the best of places. Fay Valentine (Daniella Pineda) was off on her own trying to find out more about her mysterious past. Jet Black (Mustafa Shakir) had to pick up the pieces from the family he put in danger, not to mention dealing with his anger at Spike. Then there were all the plot beats set up with the change in the Syndicate’s leadership, the biggest liberty from the anime. And all leading upto this the promise of a new mission that came with finally seeing the anime’s Radical Ed (Eden Perkins) appear in the last scene, trying to team up with Spike (John Cho). But alas, none of it will ever be.
Cowboy Bebop is now streaming on Netflix.
How do you feel about the Cowboy Bebop cancellation? Upset? Relieved? Let me know in the comments below so we can console each other.
Featured image via Netflix.
Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at BlankPageBeatdown.com or on Twitter @theshahshahid.