Live-action anime adaptations have gained a negative reputation over the years, so it only makes sense that the minds behind the original work want to err to the side of caution. In the case of Netflix’s upcoming One Piece series, creator Eiichiro Oda is committed to ensuring his creative vision and direction will carry over to the small screen.
In a letter published to mark protagonist Luffy’s birthday, the manga artist gave assurance that the project won’t set sail until he’s satisfied. “Considering my expected life span, I believe this is the last chance to bring One Piece to the entire world. If we’re going to do it, I want to be able to supervise things while I’m still active. That’s why I agreed to the live-action adaptation of One Piece back in 2016,” he said.
“Since then, Netflix has committed enormous resources to the production. It was announced that the show will launch in 2023, but they’ve promised that we won’t launch until I’m satisfied.”
While things haven’t always been smooth-sailing behind the scenes, Oda feels the team is now working towards the right direction. “Even though [Tomorrow Studios and Netflix] understand each of the characters, we obviously come from very different cultures, so when it comes to entertainment, we have different codes, skill sets, and aims,” reads the opening lines of the letter.
“Sometimes it could be frustrating for both sides…and now, each and every entity involved is working in sync. We’re finally here!!”
Not much else is known about the 10-episode series, but it’s likely to adapt the original manga’s East Blue arc and begin Luffy’s journey as a pirate. A new poster showcasing its iconic heroes in silhouette was revealed earlier this year, with Iñaki Godoy leading the charge as the main Straw Hat Pirate.
Other principal cast members include Emily Rudd as Nami, Mackenyu as Roronoa Zoro, Taz Skyler as Sanji, and Jacob Gibson as Usopp. They are joined by Morgan Davies (Koby), Ilia Isorelýs Paulino (Alvida), Aidan Scott (Helmeppo), Jeff Ward (Buggy), McKinley Belcher III (Arlong), Vincent Regan (Garp), and Peter Gadiot (Shanks).