The first season of the show – starring John Cho, Mustafa Shakir and Daniella Pineda as main characters Spike Spiegel, Jet Black and Faye Valentine respectively – was axed by Netflix just three weeks after its long-awaited debut.
At the time of its cancellation, Cowboy Bebop received a 46 per cent critic approval rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, with the audience score not much higher at 55 per cent.
Bebop fan Ryan Proffer started the petition in December, saying: “It wasn’t a direct copy of the anime but the world they put together was amazing and deserve a second season.” The petition is at 122,774 signatures at time of publication.
John Cho in ‘Cowboy Bebop’ (Credit: Netflix)
Fans have been voicing their support for a new season in comments on the petition page. One wrote: “While it wasn’t perfect, it was still a fun show and entertaining on its own merits. I would love to see a Season 2 for the show to grow and evolve. I love Umbrella Academy on Netflix, but that second season evolved the show into something amazing. If Bebop could only get that chance to evolve like UA did, I will be happy…”
“The cast and crew deserve better than this,” read another comment, “especially John Cho after going through major knee injury and surgery!” While filming in New Zealand in 2019, Cho had sustained an ACL injury that halted production of the show. Cho’s guilt over shutting down production strengthened his commitment to the role, he told Vulture: “I didn’t feel that I could come back and half-ass this role. I had to take it deadly seriously.”
Cowboy Bebop‘s co-executive producer Javier Grillo-Marxuach expressed his disappointment when news of the show’s cancellation broke in December.
“I truly loved working on this,” he tweeted at the time, per The Hollywood Reporter. “It came from a real and pure place of respect and affection. I wish we could make what we planned for a second season, but you know what they say, men plan, god laughs. see you space cowboy… #CowboyBebop #whateverhappens.”
Earlier today, Grillo-Marxuach responded to a tweet by sci-fi author Gareth L Powell sharing the petition, saying: “may your deity of choice bless and keep you!”
may your deity of choice bless and keep you! https://t.co/CVyFd697I4
— javier grillo-marxuach (@OKBJGM) January 12, 2022
Cowboy Bebop received a two-star review from NME, with reviewer James McMahon writing: “In Netflix’s update, the space and inertia so core to the anime are jettisoned for a pacy tempo that really doesn’t fit with the story. It turns Cowboy Bebop into just another show”.