Cowboy Bebop was one of the first anime series to make it really big in the West. In fact, it's often considered to be one of the major influencing factors that made anime as mainstream the way it is today. The series follows the adventures, or more often misadventures, of the good ship Bebop and its crew as it flies through the stars looking for the next big bounty. There's Jet Black, a policeman turned bounty-hunter. There's Faye Valentine, the quick handed trickster who appears a lot younger than she is. And don't forget Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV, or just Ed if you're boring, a prodigy hacker who seems like she's always "one bullet short of a game of Russian Roulette." However, she's probably one of the more useful members of the crew, being able to hack high-end spacecraft at the drop of a hat. Each of these characters has their own fan base. But they're all side shows to the main attraction: Spike Spiegel, a former criminal turned bounty-hunter.
The Bebop Goes to Hell
In 2008, 20th Century Fox began the development of a Cowboy Bebop live action movie. At first, it looked like things were going pretty well. They even brought creators Kenji Uchida, Shinichiro Watanabe, and Keiko Nobumoto on board as associate producers and apparently came up with an awesome script. Unfortunately, this awesome script came with a big price tag. At an estimated half billion dollars, Fox would have had to make payments in private islands. The movie has been in "development hell" ever since. Perhaps the most controversial decision they made was their answer to the big question: who would play Spike Spiegel? The answer, of course, was to give that prestigious position to Keanu Reeves.
Now those of you haven't exploded from outrage might be thinking that casting Keanu Reeves as Spike is an interesting choice. Spike is one of the most famous characters in anime and Reeves has earned a solid reputation for wooden performances. Taking a few of his recent films into account a case could be made that Reeves might have the chops to pull it off, specifically the movie John Wick. The movie has a similar style to Cowboy Bebop. It has an interesting musical style, creates its own interesting universe, and Keanu Reeves has a chance to flip on his acting switch. Of course, he's no Al Pacino, but the amount of acting skill Reeves put into this movie proves that there are definitely worse choices out there. Unfortunately, Reeves has stated that the project is moving forward without him and as of 2014, the fate of the live action Cowboy Bebop movie is still heavily in question.