Live-Action Cowboy Bebop & One Piece Producer Gives Updates On Anime Adaptations

Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (2001) Directed by Shinichiro Watanabe, Hiroyuki Okiura Shown: Spike Spiegel

Still waiting for Cowboy Bebop and One Piece in live-action? Producer gives us an update on both hotly-anticipated productions.

I can’t tell if anime adaptations will be the next big thing or not. Each series and property is so different and each one comes with their own laundry list of problems. There are varying degrees of cartoonish elements to adapt in addition to the cultural ones. When it comes to the great spectrum of these issues, you couldn’t really get much further away from one another than Cowboy Bebop and One Piece.

On one hand, you have Cowboy Bebop, a space western that feels a bit more grounded than your average anime. It also feels less Japanese than your average show. On the other hand, you have the pirate series One Piece. This show is cartoony as all hell, with character designs and silhouettes not of this world. And then you have its cultural aspects. Author Eiichiro Oda quite often rooted many aspects of this world in Japanese culture or mythology. And yet, both of these very different shows ended up at Tomorrow Studios, with executive producer Marty Adelstein giving some direction.

So, what’s the latest on these projects? Adelstein spoke with SyfyWire recently and gave such an update.

Cowboy Bebop

When last we heard, star John Cho tore his ACL on set. This put the production on hold for several months. Here are some more specific details on the matter.

“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.”

So, three episodes are done, and they’ve shot elements of six or so episodes. Sounds to me like they actually made some decent headway. The good news here is that they have likely had time to show the footage to the powers that be (Netflix). The fact that there doesn’t seem to be any need to scramble and re-shoot is encouraging.

One Piece

One Piece is the show I’m most keeping an eye on. It’s been a manga series I’ve been following for well over 15 years at this point. As such, there’s a lot I have riding on this emotionally. Can these guys manage to capture and adapt that off-kilter tone of the manga? Can they capture the scope in a TV series? And how, just how, can they adapt a story so ground and condense it into 10-episode arcs? 

Tomorrow Studios will eventually answer these questions, but what is their progress so far? As it turns out, they’re much farther along than I thought they were.

“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 [manga author] 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.”

RELATED – UPDATED: Live-Action One Piece Series Gets 10-Episode Order At Netflix

So, there’s a lot to unpack there. First off is that they have all 10 episodes written, which is great. They have yet to cast, but will be starting very soon. If all goes well (COVID-pending), production will start this fall. And speaking of productions, I’m also glad to hear that this will be a BIG production. This is a series that follows a pirate’s journey from his humble origins to becoming a king. You know the scope will HAVE to be big.

Finally, we have Oda’s involvement. What has he been doing for the show? Has he been helping in breaking down the first season into a respectable arc? I hope so, as that is the most difficult aspect. That and the overall visual style. Of course, not everything Oda is involved with turns into gold, but this hopefully means that those crucial aspects of the series will be retained in some way.

Which of these series are you most excited for? Cowboy Bebop or One Piece? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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SOURCE: Syfy Wire

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