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Cowboy Bebop Season 2 release date on Netflix: Cowboy Bebop live-action sequel confirmed

Cowboy Bebop artwork
Production on Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop live-action remake was initially stalled out by John Cho’s injury, but the global pandemic added another wrinkle. Pic credit: Studio Sunrise

It’s been confirmed that Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop Season 2 TV show is already in the works and the first season of the live-action Cowboy Bebop remake has not even finished filming.

The revelation came out during a talk with executive producer Jeff Pinkner of Fringe and Lost fame. He is working on the Cowboy Bebop script along with Thor: Ragnarok movie writer Christopher Yost, Keiko Nobumoto, and several other writers.

While production was shut down in April due to the worldwide SARS-COV-2 coronavirus pandemic, Pinkner told the Observer at the end of an interview how he was planning on entering a “notes call” to work on the script for Cowboy Bebop Season 2.

(Filming resumed in New Zealand in July 2020 after crew members were allowed to enter the country. The country maintains a tight quarantine and film crew members need to wait 2 weeks in isolation upon entering the country. Other TV shows and movie productions have resumed production in New Zealand, including Avatar 2 and Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings TV series.)

Pinkner is very excited to bring the iconic anime to life, but it’s still surprising he chose to reveal Cowboy Bebop Season 2 in such an indirect fashion. The producer is excited about the main cast, which he calls the “spectacular.”

The main Cowboy Bebop cast includes John Cho (Spike Spiegel), Mustafa Shakir (Jet Black), Daniella Pineda (Faye Valentine), Elena Satine (Julia), and Alex Hassell (Vicious). At one point, it was rumored that Cowboy Bebop data dog Ein was going to be played by a husky, or that the character would be 3D animated, but fortunately, both rumors turned out to be false.

“In the nearly three years I’ve been working on it, there has not been a single day where Ein was anything other than a welsh corgi,” executive producer Yost wrote on Twitter.

The team is recreating the world of the Cowboy Bebop anime at film studios down in New Zealand. Pinkner believes they will be able to “deepen and dimensionalize the source material” in such a fashion that pleases anime fans while introducing a whole new demographic to the ragtag crew of bounty hunters.

“It’s a delight. It’s entirely different from Lost in every way but it’s been a joy,” Pinkner said.

It’s not too much of a surprise that Cowboy Bebop Season 2 is already in the early production stages. It takes years to produce TV shows so multiple seasons must be planned ahead of time.

For example, Netflix’s Ghost In The Shell: SAC_2045 Season 2 anime was announced before the first season even released. The same thing happened with the BEASTARS Season 2 anime.

Netflix has a tendency to plan out most series for at least three seasons so it’s possible that even Cowboy Bebop Season 3 is off over the horizon. After all, the original 1998 anime series was 26 episodes and was followed by a 2001 movie, so a remake can’t do the original justice without multiple seasons.

The Cowboy Bebop live-action remake will be just 10 episodes at first, but since each episode is one hour long that’s the equivalent of 20 TV anime episodes. Plus, it’s possible they could expand the premise with additional story arcs that were not in the original anime TV series.

The Cowboy Bebop TV show was originally a Japanese science fiction anime that was animated by studio Sunrise. The anime featured the production team of director Shinichiro Watanabe, screenwriter Keiko Nobumoto, character designer Toshihiro Kawamoto, mechanical designer Kimitoshi Yamane, and composer Yoko Kanno.

The live-action Cowboy Bebop TV show is being co-produced by Netflix and Tomorrow Studios, which is a partnership between ITV Studios and live-action One Piece producer Marty Adelstein of Teen Wolf and Prison Break fame. Additional showrunners and executive producers include Andre Nemec, Josh Appelbaum, and Scott Rosenberg.

Anime fans will be delighted to hear that members of anime studio Sunrise are onboard for the live-action TV project. In addition to the 1998 Cowboy Bebop anime, Sunrise is known for producing renowned series such as Gundam, Code Geass, InuYasha, Accel World, and Tiger & Bunny (the Tiger & Bunny Season 2 release date has been confirmed to be coming up in the future).

Cowboy Bebop anime director Shinichiro Watanabe is serving as a consultant for the live-action Cowboy Bebop TV show. “Hajime Yatate” (the pseudonym for the collective contributions of the Sunrise animation staff) is listed with writing credits, Sunrise’s Yasuo Miyakawa, Masayuki Ozaki, and Shin Sasaki being specifically named.

  • Updated July 6, 2020: Production of Netflix’s Cowboy Bepop Season 1 resumed in New Zealand.

This article provides everything that is known about Cowboy Bebop Season 2 and all related news. As such, this article will be updated over time with news, rumors, and analysis. Meanwhile, let’s delve down into what is known for certain.

Ein in the Netflix's Cowboy Bebop
Best boi Ein! Pic credit: Netflix/YouTube

Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop live-action TV show to bring back music composer Yoko Kanno?

Besides revealing Cowboy Bebop Season 2, Pinkner casually name-dropped Yoko Kanno, which was another revelation in itself. Pinkner said the new live-action TV show would “expose a whole bunch of new people to the world of Cowboy Bebop, the awesome work of Yoko Kanno.”

What’s not clear is Kanno’s exact role in the new Netflix project. Kanno composed the original soundtrack for the anime series so it’s possible she’s returning for making the live-action remake’s music. Or, at the very least, her original soundtrack will be making a comeback.

What we do know for certain is what Kanno was doing in April. Japan was experiencing a federal emergency thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and like everyone else she was working under stay-at-home order.

Artists can be an odd bunch, and in Kanno’s case, she’s literally working from her bathtub. Kanno gathered together online the Cowboy Bebop music group the SEATBELTS to create a new project called Session Starducks.

The goal is to recreate the Macross Frontier opening theme song “Lion” from the safety of their homes. They’ve recorded some of the musical instruments independently, but they’re taking applications on their Session Starducks website for vocalists and other musicians.

For those who “stay-at-home like a good dog,” Kanno is also accepting applications on her personal website for private lessons and online chats.

Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop Season 2 release date depends on Season 1 delays

As of the last update, Netflix or any company related to the production of the anime has not officially confirmed the Cowboy Bebop Season 2 release date. An executive producer has confirmed that they are working on the script for a second season, but the production of a Cowboy Bebop sequel has not been officially announced.

Once the news is officially confirmed this article will be updated with the relevant information. In the meantime, it’s possible to speculate about when, or if, the Cowboy Bebop Season 2 premiere date will occur in the future.

The elephant in the room is Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop release date for the first 10 episodes. The Cowboy Bebop live-action TV show was initially announced in November 2018. Production started up in early October 2019, but in less than two weeks John Cho hurt his knee during a freak accident on set in New Zealand.

Cho was flown to Los Angeles for surgery and rehabilitation, which caused production to be shut down since he plays as Cowboy Bebop’s Spike Spiegel. Back then, it was expected that Cowboy Bebop’s production would resume in 7 to 9 months once Cho was cleared by medical professionals.

Of course, no one was thinking about coronaviruses or pandemics back then. The original plan called for restarting production between May and July 2020. But that plan largely depended on New Zealand, which locked down the country and has only suffered 22 COVID-19 related deaths as of July 6, 2020.

New Zealand eventually eased its national lockdown over time and began opening the country for filming as long as film crews were isolated for two weeks. Cho was ready in the summer of 2020, so filming began in July 2020.

In the best-case scenario, the first season could come out in early 2021. That would mean that Cowboy Bebop Season 2’s premiere will likely be set for 2022. Stay tuned!

Patrick Frye is Monsters and Critics' Anime Editor. He considers himself a "woke-taku" and he enjoys covering all the latest news related to Japanese entertainment.... read more

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