While filming Netflix’s live-action adaptation of the cult Japanese animated series in New Zealand, the actor had a “freak accident” during a take and seriously injured his knee, requiring surgery. Production has shut down on Cowboy Bebop for 7-9 months while he recovers.
“Our thoughts are with John and he has our complete support as he recuperates from this injury,” a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement to EW.
According to Deadline, the injury happened “on the last take of a routine and well-rehearsed scene.” Cho had to be flown to Los Angeles and after surgery, he will need “extensive rehabilitation” for his knee. Once the actor’s prognosis is clear, a new filming schedule will be determined.
Cho took to Instagram to address what happened. “‘Water can flow or it can crash.’ – Bruce Lee,” Cho wrote in the caption. “Thanks for all the well wishes everyone. Gonna be back and flowing in no time!”
Earlier this month, Netflix released a behind-the-scenes video celebrating the start of production on the series. Despite being early enough in the production process where Cho’s role can be recast due to his injury, Netflix is remaining dedicated to having the actor star in the series, hence the lengthy hiatus while his knee heals.
Cowboy Bebop is one of the most popular and acclaimed anime stories of all time, and centers on protagonist Spike Seigel (Cho), a bounty hunter whose lethargic personality hides a dark past. No matter how far he travels on the spaceship Bebop with his crew, Spike struggles to outrun his criminal past and the woman he lost, and finds himself (and his crew of sci-fi misfits) hunted by the villainous Syndicate.
The original Cowboy Bebop series lasted for 26 episodes (or “sessions”) but the Netflix version will be 10 episodes.