“Cowboy Bebop” premiered in Japan during 1998 then came to the U.S. in 2001 on Adult Swim. A massive stateside hit thanks to its intrinsic qualities and a perfect English dub, it helped shepherd anime into the U.S. mainstream. The series ran only 26 episodes, but its popularity earned it a movie, “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door,” in 2001. That movie, directed again by Watanabe, proved the series could sustain a two-hour feature, and Hollywood noticed.
In 2008, iF Magazine reported that producer Erwin Stoff was developing a live-action “Cowboy Bebop” film for 20th Century Fox. Watanabe, original script supervisor Keiko Nobumoto, and Sunrise Studios president Kenji Uchida would be producers as well. “I have such an enormous admiration for its creators, that our first and foremost concern is going to be a real degree of faithfulness to the tone of the movie, to the mix of genres, and so on and so forth,” Stoff told the magazine.
Stoff had previously produced “A Scanner Darkly” starring Keanu Reeves. That meant it wasn’t a surprise the following year when Reeves was cast as Spike. From there, though, the project stalled out. There was never a confirmed director or announcements about who would play the other characters, such as Spike’s bounty-hunting partners Jet and Faye or his enemy Vicious. Maybe they could’ve gone for a full “Matrix” reunion with Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Hugo Weaving, respectively.
Source From: www.slashfilm.com