Yeah, you heard me right. The “Cowboy Bebop” movie is going to suck. Why? Well aside from the fact that each episode of the show has a nearly separate plot, aside from the fact that all the characters’ backstories are slowly spread out throughout 26 episodes, aside from the fact that the show’s subtlety can’t possibly be successfully mushed into a two-hour flick, Spike Spiegel, that most badass and smooth of characters, will be played by…Keanu Reeves.
According to the MTV Movies Blog, Keanu has been involved with this project since the very beginning. The producer is Erwin Stoff, who’s worked extensively with Keanu, including such abysmal fare as “The Day The Earth Stood Still,” “The Lake House” and “Constantine.” (To be fair, both of these men were part of some winning movies too, such as “A Scanner Darkly,” “The Matrix” and, lest we forget, “Bill And Ted’s Bogus Journey.”)
Still, most of the time Keanu Reeves couldn’t act his way out of a paper bag. Even in the “Matrix” trilogy, Keanu’s acting was stiff and unemotional. I’m well aware that he has a professed interest in anime, but having an interest in something does not mean you automatically have the skills to participate in it. I have an interest in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, but you won’t see my short, thin (not to mention female) self jumping into a ring any time soon.
I know I’ve already written a number of entries in here mentioning how great “Cowboy Bebop” is, but I have to reiterate: It is the best anime series ever made. And there is just no way it’s going to translate well to the big screen. According to the aforementioned MTV Movie Blogs article, the film’s plot will focus on the “red-eye” drug, which gives its user superhuman strength and speed, that’s featured in the first episode of the show. No word yet on how all the peripheral characters will fit into this, since only Spike and Jet are present in the first episode, while Faye, Ed, Julia, and Vicious are slowly introduced in separate episodes throughout the series.
As for my dream cast, I’ve compiled the following list:
• Spike: James Franco. James Franco has the perfect look: angular face, furrowed eyebrows, and if you look at his photos on IMDB.com, you’ll see that he even has the hair down. Not to mention the fact that he’s mastered the art of serious moodiness (as seen in the ill-fated “Freaks & Geeks” show and the “Spiderman” movies).
• Jet: I’m torn between Chow Yun Fat and Jeff Bridges. This movie really needs some Asian blood injected into it, and Chow Yun Fat’s look in “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” was very Jet-like. However, Jeff Bridges’ portrayal of Obadiah Stane in “Iron Man” makes me think he’d be a fantastic candidate too.
• Faye: Another one I’m torn on, with either Bingbing Li or Gong Li. Bingbing Li is Faye’s facial doppelganger, but I’ve only seen her in the mediocre “Forbidden Kingdom.” Gong Li has more acting chops (”Curse of the Golden Flower,” “Memoirs of a Geisha”) and has Faye’s buxom body to boot.
• Ed: Liliana Mumy. This girl already has Ed’s trademark red hair and gooey, childlike eyes. In addition, she did the English voice of Madge in “Howl’s Moving Castle” and Nonoko in “My Neighbors the Yamadas,” so she’s already worked with anime.
• Julia: Uma Thurman. Who else could it be? Can you think of another beautiful, blonde, badass actress? ‘Cause I sure can’t.
• Vicious: This is the wild card. I vote for Tilda Swinton. Yes, I’m aware Tilda Swinton is a woman, but she’s got the emaciated, androgynous look down pat. And this woman can act. Plus, did anyone see Cate Blanchett play Bob Dylan in “I’m Not There”? That’s your undeniable proof right there that scrawny, talented women do just fine playing men.