Whoa… part 2: Keanu Reeves lets Cowboy Bebop plot details slip, wants to be Spike

keanu-reevesListen, it’s not that I particularly have it in for Keanu Reeves. He’s a decent actor when he’s given stuff that requires him to be very stoic, and I was actually surprised and pleased by his work in A Scanner Darkly.

But once again, I am forced to do the Luke Skywalker scream when faced with the news that Reeves is lobbying to get the lead role in the live-action adaptation of the 1998 anime series Cowboy Bebop.

From the MTV.com article:

Reeves revealed that this outline for the flick is currently focusing on the origins of the fictional “Bebop” drug developed by the military, which provides its users with a brief surge of superhuman reflexes and awareness. “We’re taking the Red Eye [story], the beginning part of the series,” he explained, “and then we’ll deal with the end of the series. We’re trying to figure out [the time frame]. We’re looking at the story right now.”

Already, my hackles are being raised, because even though he acknowledges that the drug seen in the first episode is called “Red Eye” Reeves says that the outline for the script as overseen by producer Erwin Stoff is calling the drug “Bebop.” Who the hell names a drug “Bebop”? Are they doing that in order to make the series name make sense to a mainstream audience? Why the hell would you want to do that, when the “Bebop” part of the name refers to the fantastic jazz soundtrack to the film?

And as for Reeves wanting to play Spike Spiegel, I have to say that if you do have to pick a half-Asian man to play him, why not choose one that has closer ties to the anime world, who actually does know how to do stuntwork well, and already has an established geek fan following?

Yes, I’m speaking of former Power Ranger, Johnny Yong Bosch who currently does ADR work for several popular anime series and whose stuntwork can be seen here in the trailer to Broken Path, a movie he screened all over the U.S. at anime conventions last year:

Am I right?

Posted on December 18, 2008 at 07:07 by Trisha Lynn · Permalink
In: Interviews

12 Responses

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  1. Written by Gordon McAlpin
    on 2008-12-18 at 11:50

    Meh, I don’t have a problem with Reeves as Spike Spiegel, if it means he’ll crack a frickin’ smile sometime.

  2. Written by Antony
    on 2008-12-18 at 14:34

    I have a problem with Reeves as Spike Spiegel for one simple reason: There will be no way to tell his rendition of the character apart from any other action-y character he has ever played. Spike will just be Neo, Constantine, Johnny Utah, Ted, and Jack Traven (aka: the guy from Speed).
    I can’t imagine Reeves cracking wise and smoking a cigarette while fluidly tearing someone apart via Jeet Kun Do.

  3. Written by djpowwow
    on 2008-12-19 at 02:34

    Wait, was Spike supposed to be Asian, or part-Asian? Aside from his use of Jeet Kun Do and having been part of a largely ethnically Chinese syndicate on Mars, Spike never seemed Asian to me. Maybe it’s just me, but the curly hair, his use of an Israli firearm (Jericho 941 “Baby Eagle”), and his last name being SPIEGEL… well, I just assumed he was, if not a practicing Jew, at least of Jewish ancestry. I suppose it’s not unlikely that Spike has Asian or some other ancestry, I’m just sayin’…

  4. Written by Antony
    on 2008-12-19 at 19:22

    Yeah I think you’re right. I always considered Spike to be of Israeli or at least Jewish decent. The tanned skin always pointed me towards Israeli though.

  5. Written by Odontomachus
    on 2008-12-21 at 05:10

    Actually, “Bebop” is the name of the spaceship.

  6. Written by patrick
    on 2008-12-22 at 03:39

    yeah, but it did also refer to the jazz music/lifestyle. i have no idea who could play spike but as a huge CB fan i’m not pleased with keanu. it reminds me of seeing tank girl, lori petty looked the part but the rest of it was, to a comic fan, garbage

  7. Written by Jeannie
    on 2008-12-23 at 15:00

    You know Adam Goldberg would be a pretty good Spike. Think about it.

  8. Written by Solinbeb
    on 2009-01-19 at 08:08

    There are more important things to wonder about…

    Like who would they cast as Fay?

  9. Written by Hiko
    on 2009-01-19 at 11:49

    Just watch. They’ll get Samuel L. Jackson (For he must appear in every movie adaptation!) as Jet, and then they’ll shove the role of Faye onto Jessica Alba.

    Edward? Hell, they’ll go with one of the Disney Starlets trying to break away – if they don’t go with a boy.

    And Ein will be completely CGI-rendered. How’s -that- for a data dog?

    Viscious? Vicious will only appear at the very end, and he will be Paul Walker in a wig.

    Julia will not appear in the film at all, and will only be alluded to in director commentary on the DVD.


  10. Written by InDavo
    on 2009-01-21 at 23:41

    Sam L. Jackson as Jet? No way. He’s gonna be the black “howdy” announcer for Big-Shot! Playing opposite him as the scantily-clad blonde bimbo will be Tara Reid. And she’ll still be terrible.

    If they cast Jet Black as a black guy, then…that will be the most racist thing ever.

    And Ein won’t be CG, but Edward will be.

  11. Written by rosesarepizza
    on 2009-01-23 at 10:09

    I sense a dire future for the casting of this adaptation… Cowboy Bebop is probably the best anime I’ve ever seen, *ever* and this news about Keanu… just makes me worry. Spike is just… not Keanu and vice versa.

    There is the slightest strain of hope in Keanu doing an OK job as Spike, but yeah, what are they going to do about the rest of the cast?? Ed, Spike, and Faye? Vicious?? This needs to be done well, there needs to at least be a good supporting cast if Keanu fucks it up.

  12. Written by Profairy
    on 2009-02-05 at 23:59

    I just wish this movie wasnt happening as a live action at all. but another movie like knocking on heavens door… set before the series ended, or a prequel or something.

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