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Showrunner For Netflix’s Live-Action Cowboy Bebop Says Faye Valentine’s Updated Costume “Felt Like It Was Telling The Story Of That Character In The Best Way Possible”

The showrunner for Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop claims that the changes being made to the series were based on "the spirit of the anime".

According to André Nemec, the showrunner for Netflix’s upcoming adaptation of Cowboy Bebop, the various changes being made to the series in its translation to live-action – including Faye Valentine’s toned-down costume – have been done in pursuit of ‘living in the spirit of the anime’.

COWBOY BEBOP (L to R) JOHN CHO as SPIKE SPIEGEL, MUSTAFA SHAKIR as JET BLACK, DANIELLA PINEDA as FAYE VALENTINE and EIN in Cowboy Bebop Cr. GEOFFREY SHORT/NETFLIX © 2021

Related: Netflix Responds To Cowboy Bebop And Faye Valentine Backlash

As explained by Nemec during a recent interview with Polygon held in promotion of his upcoming attempt at bringing Cowboy Bebop to live-action, during the series’ production, “We would look at sets, we would look at props, we would look at costumes, we would look at the edits, we would talk about all of these things, not to ape the anime, but to live in the spirit of the anime.”

“We put a pretty extensive and expansive list together and we spent a lot of time really looking at the inspirations,” Nemec added, citing films such as The Big Sleep, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, and even The Crow as just some of the series’ aforementioned inspirations.

COWBOY BEBOP (L to R) JOHN CHO as SPIKE SPIEGEL in COWBOY BEBOP Cr. KIRSTY GRIFFIN/NETFLIX © 2021

Related: Titan Comics To Publish Cowboy Bebop Tie-In Comics And Novels For Netflix’s Upcoming Live-Action Adaptation

Worryingly, Nemec then boasted that the team spent considerable time considering how they could “build out the continuing stories of Spike Spiegel and Jet Black and Faye Valentine while also mining their past stories from the anime”, before poorly attempting to assuage fan fears over the series by promoting – much to the dismay of any fan who recognizes that mere references do not equate to good writing – how the live-action series would give continual nods to the original anime.

“I would challenge almost any superfan on this show to see if they can find [all the references] in the frame,” asserted Nemec, who also noted that the original voice actors for both the Japanese and English language dubs of the series would be “properly homaged.”

COWBOY BEPOP (L to R) JOHN CHO as SPIKE SPIEGEL on the set of COWBOY BEPOP Cr. NICOLA DOVE/NETFLIX © 2021

Related: Cowboy Bebop Actress Daniella Pineda Appears To Deride Fans Criticizing Netflix’s Live-Action Faye Valentine

Turning to the characters themselves, Nemec claimed that the cast as depicted in the anime were “archetypal in their poetry,” as opposed to John Cho, Mustafa Shakir, and Daniel Pineda, who he believes, as noted by Polygon, “bring even greater dimension to the trio” – presenting himself as a perfect example of Hollywood’s asinine belief that a story cannot be taken seriously unless it is adapted to live-action by a Western studio.

Briefly praising Cho and Shakir’s respective portrayals of Spike Spiegel and Jet Black, Nemec next turned to discuss Pineda’s version of Faye Valentine, whose character the showrunner summarized as “a survivor”.

“It became undeniable [during her audition] that she has this incredible effervescence, a quick wit, a wonderful charm, but she also has a kind of take-no-prisoners kick-him-in-the-teeth underbelly to her,” Nemec said of Pineda. “She has a strength and power, even though she doesn’t lead with that power. To me, that was what it meant to capture Faye Valentine.” 

COWBOY BEBOP (L to R) DANIELLA PINEDA as FAYE VALENTINE in COWBOY BEBOP Cr. GEOFFREY SHORT/NETFLIX © 2021

Related: Salon Claims Backlash To Faye Valentine’s Costume In Netflix’s Live-Action Cowboy Bebop Is Based On “Horny Male Outrage”

Speaking to Pineda’s costume – which replaces Faye’s iconic yellow racing top and shorts with a red jacket and a pair of diamond-patterned tights, Nemec explained that the team “put her in a dozen different designs, tweaked them a dozen different times until we landed on the one that felt like it was telling the story of that character in the best way possible for us.”

“If I never saw Cowboy Bebop, [Faye’s live-action costume] tells me the story that this woman is a survivor,” he added.

COWBOY BEPOP (L to R) DANIELLA PINEDA as FAYE VALENTINE, JOHN CHO as SPIKE SPIEGEL and MUSTAFA SHAKIR as JET BLACK on the set of COWBOY BEPOP Cr. NICOLA DOVE/NETFLIX © 2021

Nemec next addressed the absence of the crew’s resident hacker, Radical Edward, from the series’ promotional material, exclaiming, “Ed — everybody wants to know about Ed!” before hinting that “people will be … very delighted when they watch the season.”

Source: Cowboy Bebop (1998), Sunrise

Related: Cowboy Bebop Creator Shinichirō Watanabe Unsure If Netflix Will Listen To His Feedback On Live-Action Adaptation: “I Have No Choice But To Pray And Hope That It Will Turn Out Good”

Insultingly, in conclusion to his interview, Nemec asserted that “The greatest part about being able to work on this was that we knew we were being invited to play in somebody else’s sandbox, and that sandbox was very generous in saying to us, ‘You tell your story,’” despite original series creator Shinichirō Watanabe stating in a 2019 interview that he had only “read [Netflix’s] initial concept and provided my opinions.”

However, Watanabe did not actually invite anyone to ‘play in his sandbox’, as he explained in the same interview that “for ‘Cowboy Bebop’ I don’t have any right to stop it. Those rights are in the hands of Sunrise [the animation production studio behind the original anime series], so if you have a complaint, please send it to them.”

COWBOY BEPOP (L to R) JOHN CHO as SPIKE SPIEGEL in COWBOY BEPOP Cr. GEOFFREY SHORT/NETFLIX © 2021

What do you make of Nemec’s interview? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!

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