Wow. Exciting news this morning as Keanu Reeves signs on for the long-mooted film version of anime series Cowboy Bebop, a futuristic series about bounty hunters around the solar system.

Reeves would play Spike Spiegel, a bounty hunter or ‘cowboy’ who travels on spaceship Bebop with his partner in (hunting) crime Jet Black and a motley collection of marks and hangers-on, including  ‘data dog’ Ein, amnesiac Faye Valentine and master hacker Edward (a girl).

The premise of the series is that humanity has built “astral gates” to get around the solar system easily. The first one, in the moon’s orbit, destroyed half the moon, raining rock on the planet beneath and killing 4.5 billion people. The survivors, 50 years on, live underground as the rocks keep falling, but have perfected the astral gate technology that allows them to colonise the solar system as well. Only problem is that, spread out as civilisation is, crime has flourished, so the authorities rely on bounty hunters to bring in the worst offenders.

The series is a very well regarded one, and Spiegel seems like a decent fit for Reeves, given that he’s a nice mix of tortured (he used to be a member of a crime syndicate, and is of course unlucky in love) and cocky. But there’s no director attached yet, just Peter Craig writing the script, so it’ll be a while before we see whether this turns out to be another Matrix or another Johnny Mnemonic.

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