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Fan-Casting the COWBOY BEBOP Live-Action Series

It’s going to be time for all of us to jam aboard the Bebop once the perennial sci-fi anime favorite gets turned into a live-action series. We’ve already talked about the four things the show absolutely has to retain, but what we didn’t touch on was who might play the various members of the deep-space bounty hunting family. It’s actually much less difficult to cast a TV version than it would be a feature film. In a film, you need a big name draw, whereas on TV, we can worry much more about finding the right actor. And to that end, here is our fan-casting for Cowboy Bebop.

Spike Spiegel – Daniel Wu

Casting Bebop‘s Jeet Kune-Do-practicing, vaguely nihilistic lead character has proven incredibly difficult, with Keanu Reeves’ name being the closest thing to a solid lock for the feature film version that never happened. But if you’ve watched AMC’s Into the Badlands, you’ll know what an utter badass Daniel Wu is. He’s already got the attitude and the martial arts skill, and I’m willing to bet he’d look pretty dope in Spike’s trademark blue suit, yellow shirt, and skinny tie. Think about it…

Jet Black – Michael Jai White

Right up front, I want to say that as awesome as Michael Jai White is, he wasn’t my first choice for this. The absolute per-fect person to play Jet Black on a TV series is the late Michael Clarke Duncan, who’s got the gruffness and warmth to be the show’s put-upon father figure. But since MCD is no longer with us, we will happily hand the role to MJW. He’s hilarious as Black Dynamite, of course, and he’s definitely got the chops to do the action scenes, so throw some jagged mutton chops on him and have him whip up some bell peppers and beef (minus the beef).

Faye Valentine – Mary Elizabeth Winstead

So here’s the thing: Mary Elizabeth Winstead is a fantastic actress, and she’s basically already playing Faye Valentine on this season of Fargo. Faye is a con woman for the ages who knows how to use her looks to get her out of situations, while using her brains to go for the big score. Nikki Swango is pretty much that already (and, low key, my favorite character on the show this season by a country mile), so just give Ms. Winstead the part already!

Radical Edward – Joey King

This is another tough one, because how can you cast someone who’s basically already a cartoon character? Ed bounces all over the place and says pretty odd things to herself while hacking various mainframes to help out her crew mates/adoptive family. I think Joey King (another Fargo alum) would be a great choice since she’s got the ability to switch from drama to comedy in her various roles, and she’s also close to age appropriate, which would be the other difficult aspect of Ed. I could definitely see it.

Ein – That Corgi from Dirk Gently

Corgi’s are adorable, but can they act? That’s the big thing we need from the adorable Ein, who is incredibly emotive whilst still just being a dog. The corgi off of Dirk Gently (a dog whose name is Bentley) is one hell of an expressive little pooch. Plus, he’s already acted opposite Elijah Wood, so he’s got the industry credit in the bag.

But what do you think? Do you have better choices to play the crew of the Bebop? Who do you think should play Vicious and Julia? Let us know in the comments below!

Images: Sunrise, FX Networks, AMC Television, BBC America, Destination Films

Kyle Anderson is the Associate Editor for Nerdist. He’s written the animation retrospectives Batman: Reanimated, X-Men: Reanimated, Cowboy Rebop, and Samurai reJacked. Follow him on Twitter!

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