Goodbye ‘Cowboy Bebop'; Why an American adaptation of cult classic will never happen

By Ryan Dawn Umadhay / 2017.04.09
The main characters of 'Cowboy Bebop' anime

"Ghost in the Shell" is turning out to be a big flop - and possibly the biggest in 2017. But it's repercussions is not only on the possible sequel or a planned series as other anime live action anime's might end up stuck in production hell for a very long time.

Recoup Less than Half the Budget

"Ghost in the Shell" is a fun sci-fi action film starring Scarlett Johansson and it currently sits at 46% in Rotten Tomatoes. But even though a little more than half of the critics don't like the movie, the movie goers are less enthusiastic. According to Forbes, the epic sci-fi anime adaptation dropped 72% from its opening week as it only earned $2.125 million.

The controversy of "whitewashing" of the main character, the general review of the film and a big weekend from "Beauty and the Beast" did not give the anime adaptation any favor. It's expected to be a big blockbuster movie given the caliber of the main character and the beautiful visuals even from the trailer. The budget even expects it to be big: $250 million.

But the movie only earned $72 million as of this writing. With more high profile movies coming up, Johansson's film will not end up strong.

Effect on Anime Adaptation

Unfortunately, live action anime adaptation (at least in Hollywood) could take a back seat. According to Movie Pilot, one of the most influential anime TV series will take its cue on the success of "Ghost in the Shell." The anime TV series "Cowboy Bebop," rumored to star Keanu Reeves should get its long-delayed Hollywood take after Scarlett Johansson.

If there's any silver lining to the challenge of making Hollywood-style anime films, comedian Jordan Peele is in talks to direct another beloved anime movie. "Akira" could be the next live action adaptation and it may finally be the ticket for more Hollywood interpretation.

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