Auckland, New Zealand – Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) Chief Executive Nick Hill announced today that Netflix original series Cowboy Bebop will begin principal photography in Auckland this month and will continue filming in and around the city until December. 

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 – the largest ever for a television production in Auckland.  It is the first Netflix original series to be filmed in New Zealand. A team of screen attraction and investment specialists at ATEED, in collaboration with the New Zealand Film Commission, helped bring the production to Auckland.

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.

ATEED Chief Executive Nick Hill says: “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. The onus is now on all Aucklanders to help the production team have a great experience here – with true manaakitanga (hospitality).”

A Netflix says: “With first-class production facilities and unique landscapes, Auckland is an ideal place to create great screen content. We’re excited to work with ATEED and Tomorrow Studios to produce our first Netflix original series in New Zealand with the thriving Auckland screen industry community.”   

Cowboy Bebop’s production base is an East Tamaki warehouse which has been 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.

Cowboy Bebop coming to Auckland is the latest boost to the region’s billion-dollar screen production and post-production industry, and Nick Hill says ATEED is working with the wider Auckland Council group to make Netflix’s arrival and first shooting season, particularly location shoots around the central city, as smooth as possible.

“Supporting a thriving Auckland creative industry and providing pathways for new generations of talent coming through is a priority for ATEED as we strive to become a globally respected screen hub alongside similar sized cities such as Albuquerque and Vancouver.”