‘Cowboy Bebop’ and ‘John Wick’ Directors Team Up for ‘Lazarus’

At first glance, Lazarus looks to be a fast paced, jazzy, thriller that I am sure will dazzle the hell out of us all when it finally arrives. Featuring a character being chased throughout the short preview trailer, the animation is smooth, sleek even, and worth re-watching for its short one minute and thirty-one second run time. There’s enough Mirror’s Edge-like parkour to make me a little dizzy and and a variety of characters on screen to keep me interested and speculating until we get more.

San Diego Comic-Con has come and gone. While this year was lighter on big time celebrity sightings and panels, it led way to more niche programming and panels. A big highlight from this year was the reveal of Shinichirō Watanabe presenting a first look at the series at the Adult Swim Festival. Watanabe, the prolific director responsible for helming several of our faves including Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, and Carol & Tuesday has a new world for us to eyeball and get lost in.

What is Lazarus About?

According to Anime News Network:  “The year is 2052 – an era of unprecedented peace and prosperity prevails across the globe. The reason for this: mankind has been freed from sickness and pain. Nobel Prize winning neuroscientist Dr. Skinner has developed a miracle cure-all drug with no apparent drawbacks called Hapuna. Hapuna soon becomes ubiquitous… and essential. However, soon after Hapuna is officially introduced, Dr. Skinner vanishes.

Three years later, the world has moved on. But Dr. Skinner has returned – this time, as a harbinger of doom. Skinner announces that Hapuna has a short half-life. Everyone who has taken it will die approximately three years later. Death is coming for this sinful world – and coming soon.

As a response to this threat, a special task force of 5 agents is gathered from across the world to save humanity from Skinner’s plan. This group is called ‘Lazarus.’ Can they find Skinner and develop a vaccine before time runs out?”

Who Else is Involved in the making of Lazarus?

Off jump, we know that Lazarus is being directed by Shinichirō Watanabe. Thanks to Anime News Network, as confirmed through Twitter that Watanabe is directing every episode. One of our favorite heavy hitting animation studios MAPPA (Chainsaw Man, Jujutsu Kaisen) is responsible on that front with the series being produced by Sola Entertainment. Another name attached to the program that pulled all the eyeballs is Chad Stahelski, perhaps best known as the director behind the amazing John Wick films.

Stahelski apparently designed and/or storyboarded several action sequences for the series which continues to elevate who and what we know of the creative team so far. Another wonderful surprise is the addition of the anime jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington, and producers, DJs, and musicians Floating Points and Bonobo. We are to expect that Lazarus will feature a score by music created by Washington, Floating Bonobo, and if the trailer’s music is anything to go by, we’re in for a treat.

Final Thoughts:

The short trailer for Lazarus has intrigued me and left me a little star struck, to be honest.  I have really always loved the science fiction world in the anime projects that Watanabe has been involved in. He’s also had a great hand in collabs with musicians and artists that I love listening to.  Additionally, Stahelski, a renowned stuntman in his own right has brought us some engaging and entertaining fight sequences in recent years through the John Wick movies. The world building and lore of the John Wick franchise continues to fascinate me to this day, as well.

With just a few other names of the creative team announced, I am hyped for this project involving not just faves of mine but talented folks who are sure to bring us all something visionary and authentically original to watch in the near future! We are anticipating more previews and sneak peeks of Lazarus as the new series will eventually premiere on Adult Swim sometime soon. Stay tuned as we all learn more! 

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  • Carrie McClain is writer, editor and media scholar. Other times she's known as a Starfleet Communications Officer, Comics Auntie, and Golden Saucer Frequenter. Nowadays you can usually find her avoiding Truck-kun and forgetting her magical girl transformation device. She/Her

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