It’s officially been announced. Variety is reporting that Keanu Reeves is set to ruin yet another science fiction genre classic. After his mangling of The Day The Earth Stood Still, Neo is back to stare blankly through the entire runtime of a live-action remake of seminal and brilliant Japanese animated series Cowboy Bebop. He has publicly and loudly coveted the role of Spike Spiegel, and whatever baby wants, baby gets.
Keanu Reeves, from a physical standpoint, is quite possibly one of the best actors who could take on the role of Spike. He’s got the dark hair, he’s tall and slim, and he’s half-Asian, so he even looks authentically Spike. I suppose, from an acting standpoint, that Keanu can handle quiet and laconic, but does Keanu have Spike’s sense of humor? I’ve never seen anything about him that suggests that Keanu even has a sense of humor, about himself or anything else. He doesn’t have the right attitude for Spike, and that’s why this is doomed from the beginning.
There is hope for the movie. After all, there are still a lot of other characters left to cast, and if you put a good enough cast around him (and a good script beneath him) Keanu could just get far enough out of the way of himself to get through two hours. I mean, it’s happened before, right? (Please don’t correct me, I’m trying to lie to myself so I’ll feel better.)
So who would be a good fit for Spike’s partner Jet Black? Mickey Rourke is pretty hot right now, as is Ron Perlman. What about Faye Valentine? Who takes on the cosplayer’s girl of choice? Mia Kirshner looks the part, but could she act the part? Can you cast Ed without going the obvious Dakota Fanning route? And what about Vicious?
This is one of those series where everyone has their dream Hollywood cast. Unfortunately it won’t remain a dream for very long. Hopefully the stellar Yoko Kanno soundtrack will be brought into the live action film. If there’s one thing they’d be crazy to tamper with, it’s that musical score that defines Cowboy Bebop.
That’ll probably be the first thing to go come 2011.
20 January 2009