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Here's How Gren Will Be Different In The Cowboy Bebop Series

As teasers for Netflix's upcoming live-action adaptation of "Cowboy Bebop" continue to polarize fans, many are wondering how faithful it will be to the original series. The genre-blending anime originally aired from 1998 to 1999 and has maintained a loyal fanbase ever since. "Cowboy Bebop" is set in the future and follows a group of bounty hunters — Spike Spiegel, Jet Black, Faye Valentine, Radical Ed, and Ein — as they embark on exciting and dangerous adventures.

John Cho, who portrays Spike, talked to Entertainment Weekly about how everyone behind the adaptation recognized the legacy they were taking on. "We were all in agreement that we wanted to honor the material and also contribute something original," he told the outlet. "What we talked about more than anything else was 'Is this in the spirit of "Cowboy Bebop"?'"

While the adaptation will honor many moments from the original series, it is making a few major changes — which some fans have pushed back against. One of these controversial changes is to Gren, a veteran turned musician with a troubling backstory.

Netflix's Cowboy Bebop is updating Gren's backstory

"Cowboy Bebop" showrunner André Nemec revealed to EW that the Netflix adaptation will not include Gren's original backstory. In the anime, an imprisoned Gren is forcibly injected with an experimental drug that increases his estrogen levels and leaves his body with intersex features (Cowboy Bebop Wiki).

Instead of exploring this backstory, the updated Gren, played by Mason Alexander Park, will be nonbinary. Nemec explained in the interview that "Gren does not have a good history of becoming a nonbinary character. [It's] dark and didn't feel like the story that I thought was important to tell. I never wanted 'Cowboy Bebop' to be a picture of a dystopian future. I wanted it to be nostalgic, but also hopeful."

Nemec went on to say, "People, I believe, always find their ground, and a way to excel — to live in a better world," adding that "A person being nonbinary isn't a discussion. It's just a fact." Instead of the anime's version, Gren's storyline in the "Cowboy Bebop" adaptation will focus on their passion for music and their transformation from spy to saxophonist — and, of course, their complicated relationship with Spike's rival, Vicious. "Cowboy Bebop" will begin streaming on Netflix on November 19, 2021.