Opinion Prone

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Reeves Confirmed as Spike?

December 19, 2008 News

Being on TOKYOPOP’s mailing list sure brings interesting news sometimes. According to this most recent email, it seems like Keanu Reeves as Spike Spiegal is a sure thing:

Spike and friends are blasting off on a new adventure as plans for a live action film adaptation of TOKYOPOP’s Cowboy Bebop have just been announced! Keanu Reeves (The Day the Earth Stood Still, Matrix trilogy) will star as Spike Spiegel with Erwin Stoff (I Am Legend) to produce.

Of course, TP can’t be considered a reliable source as they have nothing to do with the film at all. (I love how they claim Cowboy Bebop as their property.) They’re just using the tidbit to promote the Cowboy Bebop manga they have. The article they link doesn’t explicitly cast Reeves as Spike either (or at least, it cites an interview that’s already been torn apart by the aniblogosphere and the general consensus seems to be that he really wants the role, but it isn’t a sure thing yet).

I think they’re just jumping the gun on that announcement, but I don’t think I really care at this point.

I said in July that I’m willing to give the guy the benefit of the doubt on his potential as Spike. At the very least, I’m comforted by the fact that Reeves is a genuine fan, which should seriously help him adjust to the role should he get it. I don’t know enough actors to be able to suggest a better suitor anyway. But since the rumors of July seem to be holding pretty well for the most part now, I’m wondering if the bit about Bebop’s production being accelerated for a 2010 release is going to end up being true also. If that’s the case, I really want to know who’ll be signing on for the rest of the cast, as well as who’ll be directing it.

I think Jet would be easy enough to cast for. He’s the most archetypal of the lot. Ed and Faye I’m worried about. I can’t decide who I’m worried about more…. probably Ed since she needs to be very androgynous and very quirky to work right. I’m also wondering if they’ll be able to secure a trained Corgi for Ein? Or would a different breed be easier? I don’t expect them to cover everyone’s origin stories, and Ein would be pretty easy to cut out completely if it came down to it. (So would Ed, for that matter.) Hmm. Honestly, there’s a lot that can be sacrificed with Bebop since the series is so episodic. If they want to incorporate the ending, then it’s more Spike’s story than anything else. I guess we’ll see. I’m cautiously excited about this.

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  1. Ian K on December 20, 2008 2:13 am

    I don’t think I’ve sat down and watched a Keanu Reeves flick since the last time I saw the Matrix, and that was some years ago. I was too busy enjoying the eye candy to really be impressed one way or the other by his acting ability (or lack thereof). In any case, I’m also willing to give him a chance.

    One thing that does worry me some is that the plot is reportedly going to be mostly based on the first episode, which was one of the least interesting ones in my opinion. Oh well, Firefly/Serenity already did a pretty reasonable job of capturing the ‘outlaws in space’ motif for Western audiences, if live action Cowboy Bebop succeeds as well that’s just icing on the cake.

  2. Kiriska on December 20, 2008 2:24 am

    I haven’t seen one since Constantine, but yeah, my general impression of Reeves is that he’s suited for stoic characters. Spike would be a good opportunity to demonstrate his ability to portray other kinds of characters. Or if he bombs it, give us concrete evidence that he can’t.

    I agree that the Red Eye episode is probably one of the least interesting. I’d love to see the Chessmater episode, the Mad Pierrot episode, or Brain Scratch. Toys in the Attic is also a personal favorite, but is probably too silly and esoteric for a movie; many of the other episodes are pretty character-centric.

    Bebop’s genre feels more accessible to a general audience than, say, Dragonball, so I’m pretty confident that it’ll do okay as long as there’s nothing horribly, horribly off or incomprehensible with the storytelling. The main issue will be appeasing the hordes of otaku.

  3. usagijen on December 20, 2008 10:50 am

    I was also apprehensive when I first heard about this rumor, but as you’ve said, knowing that Keanu Reeves is a fan is reassuring, and I can only hope it translates to being able to portray Spike well.

    I had a bit of discussion about this with my friends, and thought that Cowboy Bebop is indeed more suited for a live action adaptation compared to the horrendous DBZ, for one.

    In any case, however this turns out to be, I’m sure the “adaptation rape” dorama the hardcore otakus will provide us will be totally lulz-worthy ;)

  4. Sarah A on December 22, 2008 1:30 am

    dear, lovely eye-candy Keanu plays the same character in every movie. he plays himself. and i think his…self, is similar enough to spike to make it work. except the hair. i’m not buying that he can grow a fro’.

  5. Kiriska on December 22, 2008 4:15 pm

    lol, the hair is the least of my worries. It’s the sense of humor and badassity. :P Reeves never struck me as particularly badass.