One Piece fans rejoice, a live-action adaptation of Eiichiro Oda’s beloved manga is coming to Netflix. A total of ten episodes have been ordered so far and will be produced by the same studio, Tomorrow Studios, who are currently working on the upcoming Netflix Cowboy Bebop adaptation. Here’s the latest on production and what we know so far about One Piece season 1.
As franchises go, One Piece is one of the most beloved and well-recognized manga series of all time. Since making its debut on July 22nd, 1997 in an issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump, 969 chapters of the manga have been published, along with 95 volumes and still counting!
— NX (@NXOnNetflix) January 29, 2020
One Piece is also recognized as the highest-selling manga of all time, outselling the likes of Dragon Ball, Golgo 13, and Naruto with over 462 million copies sold. This also makes One Piece one of the highest-grossing fictional franchises of all time, generated over $21 billion in revenue across its multiple mangas, films, video games and various other pieces of merchandise.
The original anime series is also joining Netflix. Multiple seasons are set to hit Netflix in the US and other regions in June 2020.
What is the story of One Piece?
The story of One Piece takes place on an alternate version of Earth, and one that is currently in the midst of the ‘Golden Age of Pirates’. Ruthless cut-throat pirates rule the seas, and only the strongest have the chance to lay claim to the mythical treasure known as ‘One Piece’ that was left behind by the greatest pirate of them all Gol D. Roger. Years after the death of Gol D. Roger, a young boy by the name of Monkey D. Luffy has dreams of raising his own crew, finding One Piece and declaring himself as Pirate King.
After eating a devil fruit that grants Luffy the power to make his body like rubber, it gives him enormous strength and agility. When Luffy finally comes of age, he sets sail from Foosha Village in East Blue and sets upon his grand adventure to become the next Pirate King.
The show currently lists a TV-14 rating on IMDb although that’s yet to be officially confirmed by Netflix although was mentioned on a stream by Matt Owens.
Where is One Piece in production and when will it release on Netflix?
It’s far too early to know a release date, but at the earliest, we could see the live-action One Piece series in 2021.
Five months after its initial announcement, we’ve got some new information on the production courtesy of an interview with Marty Adelstein via Syfy.
According to the interview, production was due to get underway over the summer of 2020 however, with the COVID-19 pandemic, that’s been pushed back. However, Marty said they’re hoping to “ramp up later this year”.
Filming is set to take place in Cape Town in South Africa. He also added:
“We have basically all 10 scripts written. We will start casting when we go back. My suspicion is June 1, but we will start doing our casting. We have a lot of names that we’re talking about, and we should be in production in September. We have been working very closely with Sensei Oda. So, we’re going to get started, and this one is very big. I mean, Snowpiercer was a big production; this is even bigger.”
In June 2020, we got word that production (via ProductionWeekly) of One Piece is set to start on August 31st, 2020, and is currently scheduled to wrap up on Feburary 8th, 2021.
Those plans seemingly got pushed back given we started seeing fans spotting production ongoing throughout February and into March 2021. You can see some of the behind-the-scenes snaps we found online below:
— ONE PIECE NETFLIX FAN (@OP_Netflix_Fan) March 8, 2021
— OCJ (@OCJ828) February 10, 2021
The majority of the filming looks to be taking place at Cape Town Film Studios which has ample space for the pirate ships and according to someone familiar with the production, they have three pirate ships made for the show so far.
Given the series current production schedule, we’re not expecting One Piece to arrive on Netflix until the end of 2021 or in 2022.
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!!”
— NX (@NXOnNetflix) January 29, 2020
Could we see more than one season?
There is an immense amount of source material that can be covered in a live-action adaptation. In the anime, the episode count currently stands at 909, there’s no chance that the live-action adaptation will have that number of episodes. If further seasons are expected in the future we can expect to see plenty of filler glossed over, and the story of the arcs cut up.
While the idea of cutting up any of the One Piece stories may be blasphemous, how in the world can a live-action series cover 95 volumes of manga in only a few seasons? Each season may cover the respective ‘Saga’ which has a select number of story arcs.
The first season of the live-action adaptation will cover the recruitment of Zoro, Nami, Usopp, and Sanji and end with Luffy’s fight against Arlong.
Cast for One Piece Netflix Adaptation
No cast has been confirmed for One Piece yet although some names have been floated.
Emily Rudd is a name that has been on and off the IMDb page for a while but unfortunately, no confirmation and the added caveat that anyone can add IMDb updates.
There’s some excellent breakdown of what we could see from the casting in this video by Randy Troy (which is a must-watch channel for fans of One Piece).
Other Live-Action adaptations on Netflix
One Piece isn’t the first live-action anime adaptation, and certainly won’t be the last. At the time of writing Netflix is currently working on the live-action Cowboy Bebop series and The Last Airbender.
More live-action adaptations on Netflix are:
Are you looking forward to watching a live-action One Piece series on Netflix? Let us know in the comments below!