It is one thing for a manga to gain enough popularity to be made into an anime series. It is another for a manga to not only be made into anime, but also a live-action series. What’s more, for the ever so famous One Piece, it will move past the borders of Japan to get a 10-episode remake as a Netflix series!
The pirate adventure manga comic series One Piece, featuring the lovable protagonist Luffy, has a total of 95 volumes currently, and first started in 1997. The manga soon became wildly popular and welcomed its anime version in 1999, making it one of the top few popular anime. News of the live-action version of One Piece first broke in 2017, but there was no update subsequently, which left many eager fans hanging. However, Netflix has dropped the bomb: it has greenlit the much awaited One Piece live-action series, with 10 episodes for its first season!
In a statement by Eiichiro Oda, creator of One Piece, on 30 January, he said, “I know I announced the production of this back in 2017, but these things take time! Preparations have been slowly progressing behind the scenes, and it seems that I can finally make the big announcement: Netflix, the world’s leading streaming entertainment service, will be lending us their tremendous production support! This is so encouraging!! How far will the story progress over the 10 episodes of Season 1? Who will be cast!? Please be patient a little longer and stay tuned!!”
The cast has so far not been announced, but it has been confirmed that Oda-sensei will be taking part in the production. He will be working alongside Steve Maeda (known for writing The X-Files, CSI: Miami, Lost), Matt Owens (known for writing Marvel series like Luke Cage, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Defenders), Marty Adelstein (known for producing the critically acclaimed 2011 film Hanna) and Becky Clements (known for producing the Hanna TV series). Tomorrow Studios, which is currently working on Cowboy Bebop, another Netflix live-action series, is also handling the production of the One Piece live-action series. It is currently unknown when it will be released on Netflix.
Live action remakes can be tricky to produce, especially when it comes to the supernatural abilities featured in a story like One Piece. The challenge is compounded for a super long series like One Piece. The One Piece anime has a total of 920 episodes currently and it is still ongoing! It is a delicate balance that the producers of the One Piece live-action series has to maintain, be it with the plot or the characters. Let’s hope that it will not turn out disappointing like the Bleach live-action film, which cut out a lot of the characters and modified the plot to fit into a 2-hour runtime.