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Keanu Reeves To Star In Cowboy Bebop 439

It excites me incredibly to know that a Cowboy Bebop movie is happening. But it makes me scared to think that Keanu is getting the lead in what might be my single favorite Anime series of all time. I'm very skeptical that he can pull off this role. For now we'll have to wait and speculate who the rest of the cast will be. I'm mostly curious who will get Faye Valentine. And we can only cross our fingers and hope that the soundtrack remains intact.
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Keanu Reeves To Star In Cowboy Bebop

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16, 2009 @12:21PM (#26482893)

    Unless this is one of those 3D movies in which case he will just suck.

  • Japanese? (Score:5, Funny)

    by corsec67 ( 627446 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @02:10PM (#26484469) Homepage Journal

    And we can only cross our fingers and hope that the soundtrack remains intact.

    Keanu Reeves knows Japanese?

  • by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) * on Friday January 16, 2009 @02:10PM (#26484483)

    ...he would have made a better Edward!

  • by n0dna ( 939092 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @02:13PM (#26484539)

    Poorly animated with stilted dialog is the way I'd also describe Keanu Reeves.

    • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @02:26PM (#26484761) Homepage

      I thought he made a good alien in The Day The Earth Stood Still. The problem is, he always comes across like an alien.

      Keanu, a tip: The point of acting is to seem like you're not acting.

      • by morgan_greywolf ( 835522 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @02:58PM (#26485309) Homepage Journal

        Apparently you haven't met Keanu. He isn't acting. :-P

  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @02:14PM (#26484545)

    Just as the Starwars, or any media that we grew up to like. A redo of it with new actors no matter how good they do it will always seems lame to the old faithful fans.

    When something new is released and it isn't just right, for our expectations, then it just seems like an abomination.

    • by Narpak ( 961733 )

      When something new is released and it isn't just right, for our expectations, then it just seems like an abomination.

      To a degree you are probably right. But none can convince me, as a fan of Hellblazer, that Constantine isn't just that.

    • by liquidpele ( 663430 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @03:00PM (#26485353) Journal
      No. I'm sorry, but Keanu does not have the acting ability. He will walk around with a confused look on his face instead of acting like a bad-ass. Keanu staring in this is like getting Billy Crystal to star as the Godfather. The character just doesn't fit the role.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        He will walk around with a confused look on his face

        I'm pretty sure that's how Spike looked most of the time. :D

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by liquidpele ( 663430 )
          Spike had a playful smirk most of the time during action scenes, but when something weird did happen his look was "What the fuck?" while Keaunu's is alwasy a "Whoa... Where am I?" look. Totally different. Now, maybe this is just my opinion, but I simply can't see Keanu pulling off a character that's supposed to be a bad-ass. It will be like that whiney little fuck they got to be young Darth Vader.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Hatta ( 162192 )

      Personally, I'm more worried about the upcoming Dragonball adaptation. They didn't even try to stay close to the source material. The only connection it has with the originals is the names of the characters.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's going to go to some hollywood bimbo with connections.

    What I want to know...

    Who's going to play Ein?

  • by Randle_Revar ( 229304 ) <kelly.clowers@gmail.com> on Friday January 16, 2009 @02:17PM (#26484623) Homepage Journal

    I don't care who the cast is, it still sounds like a bad idea.

    I think I am going to go watch the entire series right now to wash the very idea out of my mind.

    • This was my exact thought also - when I first heard of this possibility, I felt an immediate urge to make sure I knew where all the DVDs were to wash the horror away later.

  • No way (Score:5, Insightful)

    by smooth wombat ( 796938 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @02:19PM (#26484661) Journal
    Reeves is in no way suitable for this role. Not even close. His voice lacks the gravely, emotional sarcasm that Spike is portrayed as having. His near monotone delivery will kill the character and reduce him to a mere shell of the original. Not to mention his hair won't be anywhere near as flowing as Spike's.

    The only thing he has going for him is in the looks. His face has a similar appearance to the comic and his body is more or less the same build. Other than that, it's, "Whoa!" all over again.

    But hey, since it's a semi-geek thing, I'm sure it will do as well as Serenity did [boxofficemojo.com].
    • Re:No way (Score:4, Funny)

      by Scrameustache ( 459504 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @02:38PM (#26484949) Homepage Journal

      Reeves is in no way suitable for this role.

      The Keanu rule of suitability is thus: Is there something wrong with the brain of the character?
      If so, then Keanu is perfectly suited to play the role.

      For example: If the character has 80 gigs of memory hidden in his brain, or a giant gaping plug hole in the back of his skull, or he's a time traveling stoner, etc. Then Keanu plays that role to perfection.

      IIRC, there was something wrong with Spikes' brain... post traumatic stress I think, so yeah, Keanu'll do fine.

    • Re:No way (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SanityInAnarchy ( 655584 ) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Friday January 16, 2009 @03:07PM (#26485477) Journal

      His voice lacks the gravely, emotional sarcasm that Spike is portrayed as having. His near monotone delivery will kill the character and reduce him to a mere shell of the original.

      Maybe I'll have to go back and watch the original, because I remember the original Spike being very much monotone, the sarcasm very much in the dialog, not the delivery.

    • Re:No way (Score:5, Insightful)

      by skeeto ( 1138903 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @03:12PM (#26485589)
      I absolutely love this quote about Keanu Reeves in a review from The New Republic [tnr.com],

      One can only hope that in the future [Reeves] will devote himself to playing androids, less-self-aware species of undead, stylish pieces of contemporary furniture, and other roles that do not require the exhibition of any recognizably human traits.

      Reeves is a horrible actor and it's so disappointing that producers keep giving him roles. I guess it's done because the movie will sell more tickets, as opposed to using a lesser-known actor who might actually be able to act.

  • Wow (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Aladrin ( 926209 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @02:19PM (#26484665)

    I'm gonna go out on a limb here:

    I think he can do it.

    My first thought was definitely 'oh no'. But then I remembered that Spike is a little quirky anyhow... And very, very rarely do they manage to make a live-action with characters that really match the Anime's.

    What I'm most scared of is that they'll try to match the voice acting of the English version, instead of trying to get the tone and attitude of the Japanese version. Voice acting makes a huge difference to the overall feel of the character.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jgtg32a ( 1173373 )
      Voice acting was better in the English version, which just doesn't happen
    • by Sciros ( 986030 )

      Keanu Reeves + martial arts = fail. I'm just hoping it will be so bad it will be funny, the way the first 10 minutes of the Dead or Alive movie was.

      Even if he were a karate champion he would be a poor casting choice for Spike, though. Heck even Ben Stiller is a better choice, I'm not kidding. For real they'd need someone I haven't heard of, because I can't think of someone who actually fits the role well at this point.

    • Keanu's underrated (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Joe the Lesser ( 533425 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @03:56PM (#26486555) Homepage Journal

      It's become popular to trash Keanu, and I'm not saying he's Johnny Depp, but I could also see him doing a respectable job here.

      Pressing the panic button at this point is pure groupthink.

  • by genner ( 694963 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @02:20PM (#26484683)
    I stand behind his one word tradmark and am looking forward to this movie.
  • by hansamurai ( 907719 ) <hansamurai@gmail.com> on Friday January 16, 2009 @02:20PM (#26484689) Homepage Journal

    I'd cast Christian Bale as Spike... but that's just because I want to see him in every movie I watch now.

  • Soundtrack (Score:5, Funny)

    by Kartoffel ( 30238 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @02:22PM (#26484709)
    If they have to redo the soundtrack, I hope they hire Bill Cosby [youtube.com].
  • As Ed? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mr_da3m0n ( 887821 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @02:26PM (#26484759) Homepage
    I want to see Milla Jovovich as Ed. That would be perfect.
  • Better actors (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Awperator ( 783768 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @02:29PM (#26484799)

    Spike: Adrian Brody or Adam Brody
    Jet: Clancy Brown
    Don't know about the others

    but yes, they definitely need The Seatbelts/Yoko Kanno. Bebop isn't bebop without the music.

  • by steveo777 ( 183629 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @02:31PM (#26484845) Homepage Journal

    I'll probably have to skip this movie. I love Cowboy Bebop, but keanu reeves is one of the absolute worst actors of all time [nymag.com]. I mean that both as serious and funny. So with a light heart I'm going to go find a bottle of cheap vodka to wash away the idea.

    Can anyone explain to me why good actors such as Heath Ledger die, OD, or whatever but people like keanu don't? If the man had any honor as an actor he'd step down and let some one who can act take the part.

    Oh, and here's to hoping Bruce Willis is cast as Jet. The voice may not be right but the look would be. Oh, and if Halle Barry is in the movie in any way I'm leading the boycott.

    • Can anyone explain to me why good actors such as Heath Ledger die, OD, or whatever

      You know how fucked up the Joker was? Heath wasn't faking it, he was letting his angst show.

    • by rob1980 ( 941751 )
      This is a Hollywood remake of a cartoon, not some work of art that our grandkids are going to be appreciating in film class 50 years from now. No matter who you cast instead of Reeves, they are just going to be doing it for a paycheck, and the person (or people) behind the decision to cast them in the role are doing it knowing that person will put butts in seats at the theater. Not sure why you think this movie is worth challenging somebody's honor over.
  • Extending a career of almost entirely bad performances (including the ones where that's appropriate, like _The Matrix_), Reeves ruined _The Day the Earth Stood Still_. It would have been a formulaic remake anyway, but Reeves made it his own with his craptastic performance. Ruining one of the greatest classic SF movies.

    Anyone who gives him any work at all should be run face-first through a 70mm film projector.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by melikamp ( 631205 )

      He is not entirely useless though. He could probably pull off the main role in Soylent Green. Starring as Soylent Green.

  • Just stop (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 0racle ( 667029 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @02:37PM (#26484931)
    Stop making live action remakes of animated work. Actually, stop making remakes at all, but damn, some things work in animation for a reason.
  • Faye Valentine (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @02:39PM (#26484959)

    I'm mostly curious who will get Faye Valentine.

    There's already a porn actress that goes by that name . . . maybe she could do it? :) (If Googling she also occasionally goes by Faye Reagan - and offtopic IMHO she's in the top 5 best looking gals currently in the business).

  • Could work... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GameMaster ( 148118 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @02:45PM (#26485067)

    I think Reeves could, actually, work for most of the scenes (Spike tended to be very melancholy and low key most of the time) but the directory will have to really push to get strong emotion out of him in certain scenes (such as fighting Vicious). As for Jet, I think a shaved Ron Pearlman could pull it off pretty well. Not sure who I'd pick for the rest of the parts.

  • by eball ( 1315601 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @02:50PM (#26485157)
    This is absolutely made for Scarlett Johansson. She could play the part well, she has experience playing a noirish character from something that was not originally live action thanks to The Spirit, and she has all of the requisite... y'know... "physical properties."
  • by CannonballHead ( 842625 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @02:51PM (#26485179)
    ... I much rather would have liked to have a Cowboy Neil movie.
  • Why so sad? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by neothoron ( 1402383 )

    There are certainly exceptions, but I would wager that most live action adaptations of japanese animation/manga have been failures. Which means the worst case scenario boils down to "Cow Boy Bebop live movie is bad, just like nearly every such adaptation, life goes on."

    However, I would have a little hope for this one, because the ambiance of Cow Boy Bebop is kind of a stereotype of "american wild west" (or at least its representation in japanese minds). And

  • Don't bother. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MaWeiTao ( 908546 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @03:01PM (#26485375)

    I don't quite understand why people dislike Keanu Reeves so much. Well, I think he has a tendency to end up in these lame movies with roles that are easily mocked. I wouldn't call him a great actor, but he's certainly far from the worst. And he's not nearly as obnoxious as others.

    My problem with this movie is the fact that it's yet another remake and it will probably be crap. They'll try to reinvent everything, completely missing the character of the original. I expect the end result to be crap much like Speed Racer.

    Part of my problem, however, is the source material. Cowboy Bebop is decent, but like most other anime is very derivative and features convoluted storylines. Over the years I've found that anime fans tend to have low standards. As long as it's Japanese they love it. I can't count the times I've read glowing reviews for one thing or another only to find it's not very good. Even what is widely considering to be average anime gets overly positive reviews. And when something is actually pretty good, then it's really blown out of proportion.

    My point is why bother remaking anime? The fans will never be happy with it. Few others will know enough about the source material to be interested which means the movie will have to stand on its own merits. At that point, they may as well have just come up with something unique and potentially more interesting. But then Hollywood and unique go together like oil and water.

    Speaking of anime remakes, Battle Angel Alita is also coming in 2011, with James Cameron as the director. The manga's storyline has turned to crap, but I still have a fondness for the original story. Even though I'll probably be disappointed I am foolishly looking forward to the movie.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Cowboy Bebop is decent, but like most other anime is very derivative and features convoluted storylines.

      What? Convoluted? That right there invalidates most of your post. Don't get me wrong, I love Cowboy Bebop, but it story is really pretty simple and straightforward. What is your idea of a storyline that's not convoluted? Doom?

      I hope you never watch something like Evangelion or Ashes of Time. For that matter, stay away from reading, most adult sci-fi books will hurt you.

  • I think they thought if they combined Space Cadet and Gay Cowboy it made a Space Cowboy.

    This is going to be fantastic! It's like the polar opposite of Spike playing as spike!

    He'll be a retarded, gay, time traveling bounty hunter who's the soul salvation of humanity with AIDS on trial who smuggles information in a partition of his brain while doing everything he can to stop a bus from going 55 miles an hour while fending off demons... and... I think I need a beer.
  • by jollyreaper ( 513215 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @03:10PM (#26485541)

    If they're going to yutz it up with Keanu, what else can they do wrong? Let's see:

    Spike: Keanu Reeves
    Jet: Samuel L. Jackson (not the cool one from pulp fiction but the lame one from Star Wars and b-movies)
    Ein: Taco Bell dog
    Ed: Rosie O'Donnell with CGI and optical effects like from Lord of the Rings to make her appear hobbit-sized
    Vicious: the comedian Steven Wright with an albino wig, retains deadpan delivery.
    Fae Valentine: the girl from Lazytown that all the pedos have the hots for
    Coolie-yo: A brand new CGI character invented just for the movie who brings a fresh blast of hip-hop sass and in-your-face attitude, voiced by Chris Tucker

    For every other character in the film, make it be Shia LaBeauf making like Eddie Murphy in the Professor movies, he plays every part. "Nononononononononononononononononononononononono!"

  • Wonder who's going to direct. Not many could pull this off. Joss Whedon certainly, but not many others.

  • by level4 ( 1002199 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @03:31PM (#26485981)

    You know, I like Star Wars, but I don't DEEPLY DEEPLY LOVE IT like many here. Yeah I know, turn in my geek card, etc, except I DEEPLY DEEPLY LOVE a lot of anime, so I think I should get to keep it.

    Anyway, bearing that in mind, I didn't really mind the "new" Star Wars. Actually, I liked it (except Jar Jar, obviously), and thought all those people complaining about how Lucas was basically ass-raping their childhood innocence, etc, were kind of overreacting.

    But holy shit, now I know what they meant. I fucking love Cowboy Bebop, I fucking LOVE it, and now Hollywood is going to fuck it up the ass.

    There is NO WAY this movie is going to be a worthy continuation or even a semi-accurate movie version of one of my favourite anime series of all time. NO FUCKING WAY. They just cannot do it, Hollywood just cannot make that kind of movie. Cowboy Bebop is deeply nihilistic in a way Hollywood just does not understand. I have nothing against Keanu Reeves but there is no way he can possibly even comprehend the character of Spike. No-one like him can. I am sorry but happy dumb Americans living in sun-drenched California just cannot understand this kind of emotion. They don't even know what to shoot for.

    Faye Valentine? Dear god it'll probably be Lucy Liu. Why not eh? It's an "asian" series so we should get someone from "asia"! Argh!

    God, I'm sorry Star Wars fans. I should have fought for you. "Next they came for the Star Wars fans, but I did not speak up, for I was not a Star Wars fan" ... well now they've come for me ...

  • by Verdatum ( 1257828 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @03:33PM (#26486035)
    "Oh no, Yoko Kanno!!! Now we'll have to use Danny Elfman!"
  • by nsayer ( 86181 ) * <`nsayer' `at' `kfu.com'> on Friday January 16, 2009 @03:36PM (#26486085) Homepage


  • by DigitalReverend ( 901909 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @04:33PM (#26487357)
    A live action Edward.
  • by aaandre ( 526056 ) on Friday January 16, 2009 @10:08PM (#26492465)

    I find it hard to believe I am actually writing this, but Keanu could be actually a good choice for this role. Bebop's cool calls for a pulled-back emotional expression, and Keanu, being unable to express human emotion, is a natural candidate.

    Also, I am sure this will brings lots of kids to the original series which is a very good thing.

    I am more concerned with the script and the not yet selected director. A good director can pull out exactly what's needed from Keanu Reeves, something we saw in Matrix I.

  • by Fantastic Lad ( 198284 ) on Saturday January 17, 2009 @04:15AM (#26494885)

    The thing which made Bebop great was the larger story-line. The unfolding of the various characters as they healed themselves, or resolved their personal/emotional issues. That's what good sci-fi does these days. --Watch some of the old and loved Doctor Who episodes. The ones we (well some of 'we') thought were so great back when we were kids. By today's standards, they're amazingly FLAT; all about the plot and the cleverness and the adventure, but zero examination of the emotional dimension. These days, people are well acclimated to the science, (or whatever you want to call it). --Exploring that stuff is no longer the point of these stories. The thing we don't get, however, and which we are so driven from an instinctive level to explore is how we emotionally fit within these new concepts. The alternate realities and the high-tech wilderness of it all. People want to know how it feels to be human in an expanded set of possibilities. Emotions matter now. How cool is that?

    --I mean, heck, look at the last couple of Bond movies, for goodness sake! 007 has a soul??? --He's a broken man with plenty of murder/lockpick skills, which yeah, we were all dazzled by in the 60's and 70's, but how did he get that way? Turns out, he's deeply messed up and needs a matronly M to keep his threads all tied up from unraveling. --When the question of James Bond's mental stability even crosses the public mind, you know we are living in a new era!

    But to explore emotions properly in a story, you need space. Or rather, length. Emotions aren't like car chases; on one moment, off the next. It takes time for lives to unfold and relationships to evolve. Bebop, and Firefly, and Doctor Who needed a dozen or more episodes for these issues to be properly explored. You can't achieve some of the really great moments we saw in those series in a 90 minute format. Not easily, anyway. --They already made a Cowboy Bebop movie. It looked and sounded fantastic. I still listen to some of the tracks now and again. But compared to the lower budget TV series, it was listless and redundant. It was the series which sang!

    Same with, "Serenity", which I know is well-loved among fan circles, but my feeling is that the popular reaction came more from the grassroots victory it represented over FOX's short-sighted cancellation of the series than it did from the movie actually being particularly great. It was clever, painfully violent, and tried to cram too much into too little, and when it ended, I was relieved and I didn't miss any of the characters. It was the series which truly studied relationships and the concept of, "Found Family"; that's what made it good. Some of the most powerful moments came with revelations of character which had been building to a crescendo for ages. --When Jane was locked outside the ship, and Mal was going to let him die for being a psychotic monster but changed his mind when Jane demonstrated that he had a semblance of a conscience. Stuff like that is gold, and I just don't think it's within the realm of likelihood that we're going to see anything resembling that in a film. Not in any meaningful way. And certainly not with a wooden post like Keanu Reeves.

    Ironically, the problem is that Spike, while being the, 'Strong Silent type', was also a bit of a cheeky bugger with a lot of iron and self-confidence, whereas Keanu has never struck me as having known himself. Always a bit dreamy and confused. Poor, poor casting. --Because, I don't really believe much in, 'acting'; the eyes and unconscious, uncontrollable expressions of a person always come through the actor whether they like it or not.

    The Bebop series was a great anime, and I'm as much a sucker fanboy as the next guy, so I'll probably plunk down my. . . Jeez how much does it cost to see a film these days? Well, I'll plunk that down just to see the thing. But, honestly, it would be foolish to expect much.

    Heck, I'm still trying to figure out what the heck is going to happen with that Toby McGuire Macross project.



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