The 10-episode first season of Cowboy Bebop, a live-action version of the cult Japanese animated science fiction series of the same name, will employ a crew of more than 400.
Announced last September, it is the largest-ever for a television production in Auckland, and it is the first Netflix Original series to be filmed in New Zealand.
Its production base is an East Tamaki warehouse fitted out by Netflix to meet its studio needs under an initial two-year licence with Ateed, which has leased the site for screen production use for five years. Netflix has not made its series budget public.
The series stars John Cho, Mustafa Shakir, Daniella Pineda and Alex Hassell, and is a co-production between Netflix and Tomorrow Studios (a partnership between Marty Adelstein and ITV Studios).
The series is from showrunners/executive producers Andre Nemec, Josh Appelbaum, Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg of Midnight Radio, and executive producers Marty Adelstein and Becky Clements of Tomorrow Studios; Yasuo Miyakawa, Masayuki Ozaki, and Shin Sasaki of Sunrise Inc; Tetsu Fujimura and Matthew Weinberg, and executive producer Christopher Yost — who will write the first episode.
A company of Netflix's global reputation choosing to film a major new series here is another huge vote of confidence in the quality of Auckland's screen industry.
This is a high-value production that will bring new jobs, direct spend and global kudos. Auckland is also the main production base for Amazon Studios' streaming series based on The Lord of the Rings.
Season two was confirmed prior to principal photography starting on the first season. It is being filmed at a number of studios and locations around Auckland. The Amazon Studios series' budget details, crew size, and full production plans have not been announced, but the production's anticipated scale is unprecedented for New Zealand.
The two projects will deliver a massive boost for Auckland's economy and support a large number of screen industry jobs.