Snowpiercer, the long-awaited series adapted from both the film of the same name and the original Le Transperceneige graphic novels, premiered Sunday night after a long wait that included changes in showrunner, director, and even network at various points. It was a long journey, but the new story of the great ark train and its many passengers is finally here, which means executive producer Marty Adelstein can spend a little more time looking ahead at other major genre projects.
Adelstein, through his company Tomorrow Studios, is already at work alongside showrunner Graeme Manson on the second season of Snowpiercer, but he's also working to bring other well-known genre properties to the screen in the years to come. Tomorrow Studios' upcoming slate also includes an ambitious partnership with Netflix to bring two beloved anime series, Cowboy Bebop and One Piece, to life as new live-action series. While speaking with Adelstein about his Snowpiercer journey, we also chatted with him about the status of those two much-anticipated projects.
Cowboy Bebop, based on the beloved sci-fi anime from director Shinichiro Watanabe (who will consult on the new series), was announced as a Tomorrow Studios/Netflix partnership back in 2018, and gained momentum when it cast John Cho in the leading role of bounty hunter Spike Spiegel in the summer of 2019. Sadly, even before the COVID-19 pandemic came along, the series was delayed due to an on-set accident in which Cho injured his knee. Even with those delays in mind, though, Adelstein told us he's pleased with the progress on the show.
"So, we have finished three episodes. I think we’re into [shooting] six; then John Cho tore his ACL, unfortunately. But I have to tell you I really like the show. It’s really fun," Adelstein said. "And we have gone out of our way, because of all these anime movies that have come out and been accused of being whitewashed, we have really gone out of our way. The characters are all sort of multiethnic, and it’s a great cast. And the two episodes I have seen are so much fun. It’s really fun."
One Piece, adapted from the pirate adventure manga series-turned-multimedia-empire created by Eiichiro Oda, is not quite as far along as Bebop in its development yet. Netflix announced the upcoming live-action adaptation, along with news that Oda will serve as executive producer, in January of 2020, and Adelstein and company originally intended to launch production this summer. Though the timeline might shift a bit, he's still hoping One Piece will ramp up later this year.
"We were supposed to start filming in August in Cape Town, South Africa. We anticipate the date being able to film [now is] September, at the latest," Adelstein said. "We have basically all 10 scripts written. We will start casting when we go back. My suspicion is June 1, but we will start doing our casting. We have a lot of names that we’re talking about, and we should be in production in September. We have been working very closely with Sensei Oda. So, we’re going to get started, and this one is very big. I mean, Snowpiercer was a big production; this is even bigger."
Neither Cowboy Bebop nor One Piece has a firm Netflix release date yet, but we'll keep you updated as these shows continued to take shape as production ramps back up.