Legendary Cowboy Bebop creator Shinichirō Watanabe is teaming up with director John Wick for a new anime series.
A report from Deadline reveals that Watanabe is working with Adult Swim and Studio MAPPA to produce an anime project called Lazarus. It’s been described as a sci-fi action thriller set in the near future and will be the first series written/directed by the creator since Carole & Tuesday 2019. Watanabe describes the upcoming project as “the pinnacle of my career so far.” He also added that he hopes fans will enjoy it and teased that they will get their first look at the Adult Swimming Festival on July 22, 2023.
Watanabe isn’t the only notable name working on the project as Chad Stahleski – stuntman and director of the John Wick series – is also involved in the design of the action sequences. Cowboy Bebop and John Wick are often linked by a scene in John Wick 4 that is directly inspired by the anime. The track will also feature work by saxophonist Kamasi Washington and producers/songwriters Floating Points and Bonobo.
What to expect from Lazarus
The story of Lazarus, an original product of Watanabe’s mind, will be set in the year 2052. It takes place in a world that has been cured of all diseases thanks to a miracle drug created by a neuroscientist, Dr. Skinner. However, Skinner returns from his disappearance to inform the world that the drug will kill everyone in about three years of taking it. In response, a task force named “Lazarus” is formed to find a vaccine and save humanity before the poison takes effect.
Jason DeMarco, Head of Adult Swimming Anime and Action, described Watanabe as “one of the greatest living artists” and expressed his excitement to work with him. DeMarco also claims the upcoming series is “filled with big ideas, incredible characters, and a lot of heart.” These are all elements commonly associated with creators’ works.
Watanabe Cowboy Bebop’s iconic sci-fi series is widely regarded as one of the best anime shows ever made. He has also worked on other notable properties such as Samurai Champloo and Kids on the Slope. Netflix has adapted its Cowboy Bebop anime into a live-action series in 2021, starring John Cho as Spike Spiegel, Mustafa Shakir as Jet Black, and Daniella Pineda as Jill Valentine. The series was poorly received by fans and critics. Watanabe himself even asserted, “It’s clearly not Cowboy Bebop” in an interview with Forbes.
There is no information on Lazarus’ release date at the time of writing.