Shinichiro Watanabe, the director and creator of the 1998 Cowboy Bebop anime alongside Hajime Yatate, wants to create a live-action series. Watanabe recently ventured back into anime with MAPPA and Adult Swim to make the sci-fi Lazarus anime and has had his eye on a live-action for a while, according to a new interview with the animation blog Full Frontal released October 30, 2023.
“I do [want to direct a live-action], but I didn’t really have any opportunities… Or rather, I had one, but it never happened. We didn’t have money, didn’t find actors, there were multiple reasons… But if I had another opportunity, I’d take it. I’ve always dreamt of doing live-action, and at first, I really hesitated between doing live-action and animation. I ended up doing animation, and my dreams there have kinda come true (laughs), so now I just have live-action left.“
Watanabe is open to talks immediately, as he adds:
“I’d like to do something international. If there are any sponsors ready to fund it, please get in touch. (laughs)“
Watanabe also went into detail about his inspirations and being one of the first to collaborate with foreign artists in the interview. Naturally, Watanabe didn’t discuss Netflix’s live-action Cowboy Bebop series that premiered on November 16, 2021; he has been keen to distance himself from the series. Any possible live-action helmed by Watanabe might likely see him reunite with Chad Stahelski, with whom he has built a close working relationship, and whose work appears in the Lazarus trailer.
Shinichiro Watanabe was born on May 24, 1965, in Kyoto, Japan. After joining Sunrise, he established himself for his work in Macross Plus (1994) before Cowboy Bebop (1998), and at studio Manglobe for Samurai Champloo (2004). Watanabe was the creative director of the 2021 CGI anime Blade Runner: Black Lotus, which spanned 13 episodes and concluded on February 5, 2022.
Source: Full Frontal
Featured image: Cowboy Bebop © Hajime Yatate, Sunrise