November 19 can’t come quickly enough for fans of the legendary anime series “Cowboy Bebop.” That’s the date Netflix has set for its live-action reimagining, starring John Cho, Mustafa Shakir, and Daniella Pineda. And to get fans extra-hyped, the streamer has just dropped a new teaser that’s also a “Lost Session” from the series (which, in both its original and live-action form, called its episodes “sessions”).
That it’s a “Lost Session” means that this is indeed a standalone episode, even if running just a cool two minutes, 40 seconds. Directed by Greg Jardin, this is not, in fact, footage from forthcoming episodes set to be released November 19, but its own little story that gives you a tease of the style and tone and humor of the series to come.
Cho plays Spike Spiegel, a bounty hunter of the late 21st century who tracks down riffraff all around the solar system from his spaceship, The Bebop. Along with his colleagues — competitors? rivals? frenemies? — Jet (Shakir) and Faye (Pineda), the trio get a call about a fresh bounty to go after. Instead of working together, Faye goes off on her own and all manner of hell breaks loose. When they’re on the job, Spike reiterates his mantra of “noodles first” to get some sustenance before going after his quarry, then gets a glimpse of his true nemesis, Vicious (Alex Hassell), his katana-wielding former partner turned gangster of the Red Dragon Crime Syndicate.
The original series unfolded over just 26 episodes from 1998-99 and was developed by the creative team since known as Hajime Yatate, led by director Shinichiro Watanabe, and featuring endlessly inventive music (including the famed title theme) by Yoko Kanno. The new series employs some of the stylistic hallmarks of the old show: extreme depth of field between in-your-face close-ups and characters in the background, canted angles, split screens, and lots of rat-a-tat humorously sadistic dialogue. A lengthy discussion at the end of “The Lost Session” about how shooting a bounty in the face means they can’t be paid feels very on-brand tonally.
And even more exciting is live-action series showrunner Andre Nemec’s assertion that this “Cowboy Bebop” won’t just be a redo of the original run but an expansion of it: It’s not the “exact same meal,” he said. Check it out below.