Shin’ichirô Watanabe, a key member of the original Cowboy Bebop‘s creative team, has weighed in on Netflix’s recent live-action take — and it’s safe to say he wasn’t a fan.
“For the new Netflix live-action adaptation, they sent me a video to review and check. It started with a scene in a casino, which made it very tough for me to continue,” said Watanabe, who wrote and directed several episodes of the late-’90s anime series, in a recent Forbes interview. “I stopped there and so only saw that opening scene. It was clearly not Cowboy Bebop, and I realized at that point that if I wasn’t involved, it would not be Cowboy Bebop. I felt that maybe I should have done this. Although the value of the original anime is somehow far higher now.”
Netflix’s iteration — which respectively starred John Cho, Mustafa Shakir and Daniella Pineda as bounty-hunting trio Spike Spiegel, Jet Black and Faye Valentine — dropped on Nov. 19, 2021, and was axed just three weeks later on Dec. 9. At the time of the cancellation, co-executive producer Javier Grillo-Marxuach said the adaptation “came from a real and pure place of respect and affection” for the original series.
“I wish we could make what we planned for a second season, but you know what they say, men plan, god laughs,” he continued, later adding that he and the writers “had so much cool s–t planned” for a potential Season 2.