Last month, Spillio Schizhouse
and I were swapping ideas on a possible Bebop flick, when Keanu’s involvement was nothing but an unconfirmed rumor...
“It's pretty far off, from what I can tell, which is good.”
I wrote to Schizhouse. ”The farther off a project is, the more likely it is that it could dissolve and not go anywhere. All we can do is cross our fingers and hope that Keanu doesn't come close to sullying the reputation of Spike. “
Well, that hope came closer to being dashed when I read the news today on Spill.com
. We can still hope for some upset, something to pop-up to derail this from happening... but man... I don’t think it’s going to happen.
You might say: “What the hell, -n8? Who the heck cares! Even if the film sucks, it could direct people back to the source material! Why are you so bent out of shape?”
I used to say the same thing to Spider-man fans who bitched about “organic web shooters” and the “Green Goblin costume” when Spider-Man film #1 came out. I said the same thing to die-hard Lord of the Rings fans who had seizures when it was revealed Tom Bombadil was cut from “Fellowship of the Ring”. All in all, it’s an adaptation! Get over it! It’s not so bad it’ll sully the original, and it’s not so bad it’ll TANK the film!
Let me state for the record that I am aware that this doesn’t really matter, that life goes on and there’s still water and air on earth... and I also realize that the tables have turned, the shoe is on the other foot, the hunter is now the hunted... as all my arguments now circle back onto me.
I now realize
the fan-pain when something you really love coming close to the danger of a possible botched adaptation. For me, Cowboy Bebop has climbed to the high loftiness of my top-five-anything’s-of-all-time. Right up there with 1) sex, 2) sunny & windy autumn days, 3) good stir-fry recipes and 4) Ghostbusters. I have a hard time imagining anything coming close to these classic originals.
But for right now? The wound of this possible Keanu-tastrophe is still fresh, and all I can do is learn to cope the way any die-hard fan would cope...DREAM CAST MY OWN VESRION OF COWBOY BEBOP
. This is a time-honored tradition. Super-geeky, 100% speculative, and not a shred of chance of coming to fruition.
Some of this blog was taken from the conversation I had with Schizhouse, but a lot of it is new. Let’s have some speculative fun!
To those who don’t know, this is what Cowboy Bebop is. Take the following films/shows and mash them in a bowl: Bullit
, Oceans 11
, Enter the Dragon
... Lightly season with dashes of “Original-Trilogy-Star Wars space battles
”, “Blade Runner style melancholy & blues
”; and “Akira Kurosawa storytelling
”, and cover everything with a sauce made of the BEST Jazz-blues-folk-rock-techno Fusion soundtrack ever recorded
. That’s Cowboy Bebop.
Who could even begin to juggle all these elements?
Runner up: Steven Soderberg.
Many of his films capture PERFECTLY the various flavors that make up Cowboy Bebop: “The Limey” (crime, revenge, brutal fights) “Traffic” (large complex sting-like events) and the “Ocean’s” (smooth, sexy, funny, jazzy stories). The one drawback, Steven seems to like spending time on our real earth. I doubt he’d want to work on stuff in a Sci-fi setting.
So my choice for dream director would be Jon Favreau
. Iron man proved that he’s got the chops to delicately balance (and pull off with flying colors) realism vs. absurd, humor and tragedy, cowardice and heroics. He can tell a good ripping yarn, all the while developing four distinctly different characters with distinct personalities.
Also, he will assemble a team that will DELIVER on the visuals. Seeing Iron man zoom across the skies, it’s not a stretch to imagine Spike’s “Swordfish II” dog fighting some hapless bounty head in the same sky (heck, it looks like Iron man could Transform into the Swordfish II...).
And Cowboy Bebop has a strong vein pumping that same hip-jazzy blood that ran in the Rat Pack’s veins; which was the foundation on which Fav’s built his first house “Swingers”. This would be an excellent match.
At one moment he is the picture of nonchalance. Sleeping with a book over his face, leaning back taking a drag on a cigarette, or ignoring a bloody bar fight while carefully trying to mix up a hangover remedy. The next moment he could be swapping punches and kicks with a major heavy, limbs flying with water-like fluidity, playing with his opponent like a cat plays with it’s prey. Spike’s an ex-enforcer for the mob, who is trying to forget his past; partnering up with an ex-cop to scrape together a living hunting down bounty heads.
I had two possible ideas for the perfect Spike. For me, the second one is my fave, but the first deserves a mention.
Runner up: Adrian Brody:
Tall Lanky guy, a guy who can linger w/ a cigarette along the best of them. Good for the “hanging out in a smoky jazz-pool-hall” Spike.
But honestly I like the choice of Damian Lewis
as Spike. Damian has a very “Steve McQueen” aura about him. That sort of quiet-cool, and a great STARE that would give the intensity necessary to Spike.
And in those rare moments when his façade breaks, He can pull that off too. His character, Charlie Crews, in NBC’s “Life” is very close to Spike in the sense that both Spike and Charlie are the picture of cool, collected calm, but can unlock and react with Zen-like fluidity and action. So, eat that Keanu. Damain Lewis as Spike.
Man of hard work and balance. A former cop, nicknamed “the Black Dog” because “once he’s got his teeth in you he won’t let go” he’s a formidable bounty hunter. But also he’s rebuilding his life after leaving the force, losing his arm, losing his fiancée. Still hardworking, still diligent, but also seeking knowledge and peace, he listens to Classic Jazz masters such as Charlie Parker and keeps a small garden of bonsai to calm his mind.
TIE: Jeffrey Wright.
His portrayal as “Felix” in Casino Royale and (the 5 mintues of screen time he had in) Quantum of Solace scream out “Jet Black” to me. doing his best to do what’s right in an organization of sketchy and (possibly) corrupt allies... This to me is what Jet might have been when he was on the police force. (Also, all he’d need is a shave and a little prosthetics and he looks just like him)
TIE: Josh Brolin.
His character in “No Country for Old Men” also echo’s Jet Black very much. Josh was able to bring forth the acting chops to show a very determined, somewhat gruff hardass, who simply would. Not. Give. Up. even in the face of an impossible adversary. (Also, all he’d need is a shave and a little prosthetics and he ALSO looks just like him)
I can’t decide between these two. I like ‘em both, I think they’d both be good.
Faye is tricky. the character was created to be a sort of the PERFECT film noir style woman: She's silky sexy and dangerous (which many actresses can play) and thrown in to this mix is brash un-womanly behavior (backstabbing often, untrustworthy, stealing food from a hungry dog) and also has a well hidden innocent side (I don’t want to spoil anything to those who haven’t seen it. but she’s got good reason to hide her vulnerable side). So the actor has to be (1) super hot (2) have serious acting skills for both drama AND comedy.
But, oh, who to cast? Spike and Jet were cake compared to this. If I could time-travel I’d cast Sophia Lauren, or enlist Audrey Hepburn and teach her how to handle a gun and fly a jet plane. But we have to stick with someone today... sooo....
Runnerup #1: Elizabeth Banks
Sexy, check. Acting chops (dramatic and comedic) check.
Why not her?
this might sound lame, but I can't picture her as a brunette, or as film noir type woman. And Her voice is sunny, not dark and silky smooth like Faye's is.
Runnerup #2: Vanessa Ferlito
she's got the look, and after seeing her in Death Proof she's got the moves, she has that attitude that is very "Faye"....
why not her?
the ONLY thing I've EVER seen her in was "Death Proof" and her imdb just has a lot of TV shows I've never seen... I dunno if she could handle this character in a film...
Winner: Eliza Dushku
First, why her?
She's already proven she can do all the stuff that make up Faye's personality from her portrayal of Faith on "buffy the vampire slayer". (1) sexy, (2) dangerous (3) sense of comedy & drama in acting skills and (4) occasional innocence
and why NOT her?
Well, I might be wrong, but I think she’s a bit on the short side, and Faye definitely has legs that go on for miles. However, I think Eliza wins out cause damn, she can MOVE!
(full name, Edward Wong Hau Peplu Tivrusky IV
) a homeless, GENIUS computer hacker who lives on Earth (which is, by the way, in the Cowboy Bebop universe, the back-water sticks of the solar system). She appears... a little “off”, possibly having ADHD, or possibly being insane or autistic; or possibly simply just being a weird kid. Reading the exploits of Jet and Spike on police blogs, She quickly becomes their biggest fan and forces her way on board, much to the crew’s chagrin. Her knowledge of data mining and hacking have proved invaluable in their bounty hunts, since her coming onboard the Bebop.
Here is where I’m worried about a Cowboy Bebop live-action film, no mater who was involved in the crew. Casting an actor who can get the character of “Ed” right, and writing and directing the character would take a certain finesse... (maybe this is my “organic webshooter” or “Tom Bombadil” that will stick in my craw when this film comes out...)
But when I think about it, I can’t think of an actor to pull the character off. The only actor working today who’s a skilled actor and the right age is Dakota Fanning
. But I’m skeptical...you gotta cast someone who is in their early teens, and who can balance the cat-like sweetness with the “holy shit this kid is F&^%ing insane” characteristics of Ed.
Those are the four main characters. The ones that would be 100% necessary to bring the flavor and tone of this film. But every good Adventure yarn needs a villain... and for the crew of the Bebop, there is...
The man is known only as Vicious, and his name sums up everything about this character. He has taken over the Red Dragon Syndicate that Spike used to work and live in. His hatred and skill is the specter that Spike is trying to stay away from. He is like a snake, cold and deadly.
Who would be perfect for a role like this? Who has a still almost unmoving and unchanging face? Who can convince you that they are like a cold ice statue come to life? Who can speak so flatly... as if to imply that he has no emotion, or soul?