Netflix released the latest round of castings for its upcoming and highly anticipated live-action version of Cowboy Bebop. In it, it offers a modern update to a popular character from the series.
The character of Grencia Mars Elijah Guo Eckener, who went by Gren, was a veteran of the Titan War. In the anime, Gren played saxophone at a club known as a Rooster House. An experimental drug also caused Gren to grow breasts. The character is considered to be one of the more recognized LGBTQ depictions in anime, especially considering how influential Cowboy Bebop is to this day.
In the live-action adaptation, the series is making Gren officially non-binary and will have a non-binary actor portray them. Both Gren and their actor, Mason Park Alexander who played Hedwig in the National Broadway Tour of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, use “they/them” pronouns.
They are also getting a major recurring status as the right-hand person to Ana (Tamara Tunie), running the front of the house for her jazz club. Gren is described as “capable with their wit as a glock, as confident in a dress as a suit, they are a Bowie-esque embodiment of 22nd century handsome and seductive beauty.”
On the update to the character, Netflix tweeted: “Revolutionary as the original anime was, the vocabulary we have today for LGBTQ+ people didn’t quite exist when it aired. For the upcoming live action adaptation, the character is being reimagined as nonbinary with a nonbinary actor.”
Introducing Cowboy Bebop's Gren @MasonAPark 🚀 Revolutionary as the original anime was, the vocabulary we have today for LGBTQ+ people didn't quite exist when it aired. For the upcoming live action adaptation, the character is being reimagined as nonbinary with a nonbinary actor. pic.twitter.com/D6E4qC2Sgj
— The Most (@Most) November 19, 2020
In a video from Park that was also posted with the tweet, they said on playing Gren, “It’s remarkably meaningful to me because I didn’t grow up with a lot of gender-variant representation in the media. There weren’t a lot of other characters that spoke to my experience with gender or my experience with queerness, and representation matters.”
New additions to the cast for Cowboy Bebop also include Geoff Stults (Little Fires Everywhere), Rachel House (Thor: Ragnarok), and Ann Truong (Strikeback!) and Hoa Xuande (Top of the Lake).
Cowboy Bebop does not have a release date at this time.