The change comes less than three weeks after the show’s premiere on the streaming service on Nov. 19, when it was announced.
The space Western was met with a chilly reaction. On the review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes, the 10-episode series had a 46 percent positive critics rating, which is below the industry average. Fans appeared to agree, as evidenced by the show receiving a 56 percent good audience rating on the website. According to Netflix’s Top 10 site, the series has amassed about 74 million viewing hours globally since its premiere — indicating that it had a good amount of exposure right away — but its popularity dropped by 59 percent during the week of November 29 to December 5.
For scripted programs with more than two seasons, Netflix’s renewal rate is 60 percent, according to insiders. This is in accordance with industry stats, and it was determined by assessing the show’s audience and financial costs, as with all Netflix renewal decisions. In addition to Cowboy Bebop and a bevy of other genre shows currently broadcast or in production, the streaming service prides itself on taking big chances.
Remaking Japanese cartoons into live-action films like Dragonball Evolution in 2009 and Death Note in 2017 hasn’t worked, so this is the latest attempt to do so. Currently, Alita: Battle Angel (2019) has topped the box office with $319 million in foreign ticket sales and only $85 million domestically, making it the most successful picture in the genre.
John Cho, Mustafa Shakir, and Daniella Pineda starred in the television series Cowboy Bebop as bounty hunters who tried to flee the past. There is an official synopsis for the show, which states that the crew is “a scrappy sardonic team ready to hunt down the solar system’s most dangerous criminals—for proper compensation.” If they keep kicking and joking their way out of trouble for so long, they’ll finally get caught themselves.”
Cowboy Bebop was “faithful to a fault,” according to the Hollywood Reporter’s Angie Han, with “leaden pacing” and “muddy CG,” while “the sharp [anime] visuals [were] reduced to muddy CG, the playful humor translated as phony laughter, the lived-in grittiness replaced with shoddy-looking sets,” and that the remake “seems to have no point at all.”
A popular Japanese anime television series from 1998 and a feature film from 2001 were also inspirations for the show. A direct-to-series order was first placed on the project by Netflix back in 2018. When the show was canceled, Fox was also working on a live-action feature film starring Keanu Reeves.