Wanna see my effort? Check out my Bebop Spec Script — “Session 17.5: Jump, Jive, and Jet” for a brand new adventure with the gang!
Let’s take a break from politics and head to the theater. I could use the breather.
Guardians of the Galaxy II is currently busting up the box office, bringing it’s music-driven, ensemble-action space romp to every corner of the globe. Marvel’s unexpected success is heavy on humor and action. Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord and company are nestled perfectly in the hero/anti-hero divide, and it’s got the slickest pop-culture action soundtrack since Reservoir Dogs (happy 25th anniversary, color-based thieves). Clearly, the formula is a success. Which got me thinking…
Can I bring Cowboy Bebop back?
Cowboy Bebop a space western about a rag-tag family of bounty hunters, a bickering but loving family and one of the most popular anime shows in US history. It’s scored to one of the greatest original soundtracks of all time,
Here’s the kicker — I don’t even like anime, and I want this gig.
For those less culturally enlightened as myself, Cowboy Bebop is the story of the four perpetually-poor bounty hunters in our near-future solar system. They’re a bickering but loving family, each with skills and traits that both bring them closer to a payday and inevitably screw it all up. Spike is the lone-wolf who just wants to eat and sleep. Jet is the ex-cop trying to keep everyone together. Faye is a con-woman with a gambling problem, and Edward is a gleefully feral hacking prodigy. They live on a spaceship named the Bebop and hunt bounties across the solar system, because none of them have a home except for each other.
Oh, and they have an adorable, super-intelligent pet Corgi named Ein. Suck it, Baby Groot.
We can make a movie or three (when the first is successful). Furthermore, Bebop can be cheaper than you might imagine — and early script (which I may or may not have outlined, btw) would likely focus on one specific bounty, allowing us to learn the crew and setting in a relatively small-scale debut. And the setting is the relatively recognizable near future — no huge SFX or alien costuming required. Think of it as Blade Runner meets Guardians of the Galaxy.
Sci-fi and westerns are having a moment, critically and culturally. Star Wars, the original space western, is back and big. Arrival and Alien are successful and alliterative further examples, and The Martian was huge. Westworld, Logan, and Hell or High Water have put the modern western back on the map, and Guardians of the Galaxy is a lucrative blueprint for this kind of throwback, mashed-up space adventure.
All of them are indebted to the genre-bending influence Cowboy Bebop.
I’ll write the whole thing for you, nameless studio executive who follows my every move for quality ideas (studio executives, Nick — don’t sell yourself short). In this era of smart reboots, bringing back a world-wide smash hit should be high on the list, especially one hitting the nostalgic sweet-spot right about now. Bebop’s US heyday was 2001–05, and has run every year since 2007. All of us Millennials raised on Toonami actually pay for things now.
Nick Geisler writes about politics and pop culture from Los Angeles. You can see his work, including the world’s first wiki-novel, at https://www.nickgeisler.com
PITCH DECKS is a new series to air out my ideas. You could steal them, of course, but it’s probably easier to just pay me. Heart me if you want to see this one made!