We have exciting news about the upcoming Cowboy Bebop live-action series from Netflix.
If you talk to any hardcore anime fan and ask them to name a classic show, Cowboy Bebop would most likely be their answer. The space sci-fi series from 1998 has continued to live in the hearts of many anime fans for over two decades.
But when juggernaut streaming service Netflix announced plans for a live-action adaption, many carried mixed emotions. On one hand, a live-action version of this iconic show from the ‘90s could be an exciting feat. On the other hand, Hollywood and Netflix do not have good track records with adapting Japanese anime. Here’s looking at you Dragonball Evolution and Netflix’s Death Note. But now, as we get more news on the casting, some more excitement is getting added to the mix.
According to Deadline, a new batch of actors has been added to the series. Previously, we’d heard that the cast would include John Cho as Spike Spiegel, Mustafa Shakir as Jet Black, Daniella Pineda as Faye Valentine, Alex Hassell as Vicious, and Elena Satine as Julia. Now, we know that Geoff Stults as Chalmers, Tamara Tunie as Ana, Mason Alexander Park as Gren, Rachel House as Mao, Ann Truong as Shin, and Hoa Xuande as Lin will be joining them.
For LGBTQ fans, this announcement is exciting news because Mason Alexander Park is a nonbinary actor. Park will play Gren, the right-hand person to the proprietor of a hot jazz club on Mars. The character’s description explains that, “they run the front of the house for Ana’s jazz club. As capable with their wit as a glock, as confident in a dress as a suit, they are a Bowie-esque embodiment of 22nd century handsome and seductive beauty.”
The reimagining of Gren as a nonbinary character and then casting a nonbinary actor for them is still a giant moment for representation.
“Revolutionary as the original amine was, the vocabulary we have today for LGBTQ+ people didn’t quite exist when it aired,” Netflix tweeted of the announcement. “For the upcoming live action adaptation, the character is being reimagined as nonbinary with a nonbinary actor.”
Introducing Cowboy Bebop's Gren @MasonAPark 🚀 Revolutionary as the original anime was, the vocabulary we have today for LGBTQ+ people didn't quite exist when it aired. For the upcoming live action adaptation, the character is being reimagined as nonbinary with a nonbinary actor. pic.twitter.com/D6E4qC2Sgj
— The Most (@Most) November 19, 2020
Park themselves celebrated being cast in the role. As they said in a video on Twitter, “I will be playing my favorite role from the anime, Gren, who is a sexy nonbinary icon, who in our version runs the front of house for Ana’s Jazz club.”
“Now being a nonbinary actor who is giving the opportunity to breathe new life into an existing nonbinary character has been the thrill of a lifetime,” Park added, “It’s remarkably meaningful to me because I didn’t grow up with a lot of gender-variant representation in the media. There weren’t a lot of other characters that spoke to my experience with gender or my experience with queerness, and representation matters.”
Park then concluded, “I’m really psyched to be a part of the new crop of nonbinary and transgender artists who are given such big platforms to tell their stories so that hopefully the next generation of queer kids don’t question the validity of their experience in the same way.”