Reeves leads cast of futuristic "Bebop"

Actor Keanu Reeves attends the AFI Night at the Movie event at the Arclight theatre in Hollywood, California, October 1, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Keanu Reeves will star in 20th Century Fox’s big-screen version of the Japanese anime TV series “Cowboy Bebop,” playing a bounty hunter travelling through space in 2071.

One of the big titles in anime, “Bebop” is set in a time when “astral gates” make interstellar travel possible. Humanity, decimated by a lunar explosion resulting from a gate accident, has spread out across the solar system, as has crime, giving rise to the use of bounty hunters.

Reeves would play Spike Spiegel, a bounty hunter and former member of a crime syndicate. Spiegel and Jet Black, a fellow bounty hunter and former cop, are the pilots of the spaceship Bebop.

Peter Craig is writing the script.

The show, which first aired on Tokyo TV and satcaster Wowow during the late ‘90s, was influenced strongly by American music, featuring action sequences -- both space battles and mano a mano fights -- timed to U.S. melodies.

Reeves’ association with the project leaked in the summer when Fox and 3 Arts Entertainment began the process of acquiring the rights from Sunrise Studios.

“Bebop” marks a return to Fox for Reeves, who starred in the studio’s December release “The Day the Earth Stood Still.”

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter