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SYFY WIRE Cowboy Bebop

Netflix's live action Cowboy Bebop finally wraps production on long-delayed first season

By Matthew Jackson
Cowboy Bebop Spike Spiegel

Nearly two years after production began, Netflix's live-action reboot of the beloved anime series Cowboy Bebop has finally wrapped shooting on its first season, the streaming giant confirmed to Deadline on Tuesday. It's been a long road with a couple of major setbacks, even on top of the global pandemic, but we're one step closer to finally seeing the much-anticipated new version on our screens. 

Adapted from the sci-fi anime series helmed by director Shinichiro Watanabe in 1998, Cowboy Bebop follows a down-on-his-luck bounty hunter named Spike Spiegel (John Cho), his long-suffering partner Jet Black (Mustafa Shakir), and their new crewmate Faye Valentine (Daniella Pineda) as they fly around the solar system taking jobs where they can, and sometimes getting in way over their heads.

The series is often considered one of the best anime shows of all time, as well as one of those shows that even non-anime viewers can get into, so there was some trepidation among fans when Netflix announced a live-action version in 2017. Then came the casting announcements, which built anticipation for the adaptation, particularly when Cho joined the series. Now, at last, Season 1 is in the can. 

The news that shooting had wrapped first broke when Pineda revealed it via a selfie on her Instagram page

Production on Cowboy Bebop stretches all the way back to mid-2019, when the series began shooting in New Zealand only to shut down in October of that year when Cho injured his knee and required surgery. With that delay already affecting the timeline, the series was then hit with the same issue virtually every other film and TV production in the world had to contend with: The COVID-19 pandemic, which pushed shooting back several more months. After the New Zealand government granted permission for shooting to resume, Cowboy Bebop returned to production last September. Six months later, here we are. 

Netflix still lists Cowboy Bebop's release date only as "coming soon," but now that Season 1 production has wrapped, we can hopefully expect more reveals about the show's future in the coming months, though there is almost certainly plenty of visual effects work left to be done.