It was a cowboy be-flop.
Netflix devastated cast members, crew and fans after canceling the highly-anticipated live-action “Cowboy Bebop” series after just one season. The decision came less than a month after the spinoff’s premiere on Nov. 19.
Based on the 1998 anime cartoon of the same name, the 10-part series followed intergalactic bounty hunters Spike Spiegel (John Cho), Jet Black (Mustafa Shakir, 45) and Faye Valentine (Daniella Pineda, 34) as they pursued the “solar system’s most dangerous criminals” – while trying to escape their troubled pasts.
“I truly loved working on this,” tweeted co-executive producer Javier Grillo-Marxuach. “It came from a real and pure place of respect and affection.”
He added: “I wish we could make what we planned for a second season, but you know what they say, men plan, god laughs. See you Space Cowboy.”
Mason Alexander Park, who played the non-binary character Gren in the series, replied to his message, writing that it was “a joy to work on this with you.”
Meanwhile, series star John Cho simply tweeted a gif of actor Tom Selleck holding back tears with the caption “I’m Okay.”
Despite the advance hype, the space-western received largely negative reviews online. “Bebop” scored a putrid 46% “fresh” rating among critics on Rotten Tomatoes, with fans only rating it slightly better at 55%.
And while the show reportedly garnered nearly 74 million viewing hours globally since its debut, those numbers plunged a staggering 59% for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5.
Post film critic Sarah Stewart, for one, thought that “Bebop” simply didn’t live up to the original Anime version.
“The biggest sin the new ‘Bebop’ commits is just not being as gorgeous as the original, which was drawn with poetic artistry on par with any live-action heavy-hitter,” she wrote last month. “This version turns that poetry into kitsch, which is fun but doesn’t land with the same weight: If the anime was Christopher Nolan’s take on Batman, this one would be Joel Schumacher’s.”
Nonetheless, the cast and crew were crestfallen that “Bebop” was nipped in the bud.
Many fans seconded their sentiments, with one devastated Bebopper writing, “It was a delightful show that did justice to the source (IMO), and I wanted to see much more of it.”
“Seriously, one of my favorite shows ever,” said another. “It hit all the right notes and was so much fun. Maybe you can take it elsewhere for a continuation?”