Netflix has canceled its live-action adaptation of the Cowboy Bebop anime. The show, starring Jon Cho as Spike Spiegel, will not be renewed for a second season, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Though a lot of shows on Netflix are not renewed, The Hollywood Reporter alluded to the show’s poor reception as the reason for its abrupt cancellation.
Reviews of Cowboy Bebop generally criticized the show’s weak pacing and cheap-looking costumes and sets, while it also failed to capture the essence of what made the 1996 anime one of the best examples of the genre. The Verge’s Andrew Webster said the show eventually grew on him after failing in the first episodes while I, a Cowboy Bebop superfan, thought the show took some weird but interesting risks.
The live-action adaptation was originally announced in 2018, but production was delayed nearly a year due to an ACL injury John Cho suffered on the set, followed by the pandemic. After the news broke, Cho sent this tweet, a GIF with the caption “I’m okay.”
Cowboy Bebop premiered three weeks ago after dropping several trailers and a video of the opening title sequence, which was a shot-for-shot remake of the anime’s iconic opening theme. There will be some plotlines that will be left hanging (Radical Edward!) by the sudden end of the show, but at least we got new Yoko Kanno music to enjoy, so the show’s cancellation isn’t a total loss.
Disclosure: The Verge is currently producing a series with Netflix.
Update December 9th, 7:35PM ET: Added tweet from John Cho.