‘Cowboy Bebop’: Keanu Reeves Was Almost Spike Spiegel in a Live-Action Film; Here’s Why It Fell Through

Keanu Reeves has taken on many different personas in his acting career — a hitman (John Wick), a hacker (The Matrix), and a futuristic rockstar (Cyberpunk 2077), to name a few. At one point, he almost became a space cowboy. The newly-released Cowboy Bebop adaptation stars John Cho as protagonist Spike Spiegel, but before that, Reeves was going to step into Spike’s shoes. He signed on for a live-action Cowboy Bebop movie in 2008. In honor of the live-action series release, here’s the story of Keanu Reeves’ Cowboy Bebop adventure that never was.

Keanu Reeves | Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Keanu Reeves confirmed his involvement with a ‘Cowboy Bebop’ film in 2008

Rumors of a Cowboy Bebop film first circulated in the early 2000s. As IMDb noted, in 2008, news broke that Cowboy Bebop anime creator Shinichiro Watanabe signed on to executive produce the movie under 20th Century Fox, with a script written by Peter Craig. Reeves himself then confirmed his involvement, telling Screen Rant that the plot would center around a superhuman drug called the Red Eye — a storyline from the anime.

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‘Cowboy Bebop’: Keanu Reeves Was Almost Spike Spiegel in a Live-Action Film; Here’s Why It Fell Through

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