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‘One Piece’ Netflix Live-Action Series: Everything We Know So Far | © 2023

netflix one piece live action series everything we know so far

A live-action adaptation of Eiichiro Oda’s beloved manga is coming to Netflix. The series is being produced by Tomorrow Studios, who are the same production team behind Netflix’s now-canceled Cowboy Bebop adaptation. Filming has now officially wrapped on season 1 on Netflix’s One Piece, so here’s everything we know so far. 

Note: this preview has been updated over time to reflect changing details about the upcoming live-action series. It was last updated in August 2022. 

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, which continues to increase.

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, generating over $21 billion in revenue across its multiple mangas, films, video games, and various other pieces of merchandise.

Netflix’s live-action series was first announced back in January 2020 along with the following text:

one piece announcement

One Piece announcement – Picture: Netflix

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.

A young Luffy eats the Gum-Gum Fruit – Copyright. Toei Animation

Who is behind Netflix’s One Piece series?

As we mentioned above, the key production company behind the series is Tomorrow Studios. Their notable projects includes Hanna for Prime Video and Snowpiercer for TNT. Of course, the production company is also readying up Cowboy Bebop for Netflix too.

That leads us on to our showrunner for the series.

Steven Maeda is going to be the showrunner for One Piece. His long career has had him involved with titles like The X Files, Lost, Lie to Me, Helix and Day Break.

Steven Maeda Showrunner One Piece

Steven Madea repping a One Piece jumper

Among the writing staff for One Piece includes:

  • Diego Gutierrez
  • Matt Owens
  • Allison Weintraub
  • Ian Stokes
  • Lindsay Gelfand
  • Laura Jacqmin
  • Jason Cho
  • Damani Johnson
  • Tom Hyndman

The writers spent their last time together on a virtual Zoom meeting in May 2020.

one piece writers room

One Piece Writer’s Room – Picture: Steven Madea Instagram

Marc Jobst is expected to direct the first episode of One Piece. He’s notably directed episodes of Netflix’s Daredevil, The Punisher, and The Witcher.

Where is One Piece in production and when will it release on Netflix?

Filming took forever to get underway.

, and if it wasn’t for the global pandemic, then we would have likely seen production start in the Summer of 2020. Since then, we’ve had multiple delays and false filming start dates.

Most of the filming is 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 made three pirate ships for the show so far.

cape town film studios beach set

Set details for One Piece

According to Steven Maeda, they had originally planned to get underway with production in 2021.

“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 [2021]. 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.”

However, those plans were seemingly pushed back since 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:

On September 3rd, 2021 Netflix officially unveiled the script for the first episode. It’s written by Matt Owens and Steven Maeda and is titled “Romance Dawn”.

one piece episode 1 script netflix

One Piece Script for Episode 1

In September 2021, reports emerged of crew gearing up to begin filming.

In early October 2021, Steven Maeda posted that he had touched down in Cape Town (where the series is set to film).

Filming eventually got underway in February 2022, with the show scheduled originally set wrap on July 10th, 2022, according to multiple production listings.

During the first month of production, the President of South Africa released a press statement talking about the show saying, “One Piece is Netflix’s biggest production project in Africa to date – both in terms of scale and budget, covering South African labour, infrastructure and suppliers.”

He also added:

“One Piece, which is set in Cape Town, involves more than 50 South African cast members; more than 1 000 crew member jobs (consisting of 67% previously disadvantaged individuals and 46% youth employees), as well an Academy of Creative Excellence (ACE) mentorship programme for more than 30 young creatives and technicians in collaboration with the SA Film Academy during 2022.”

On May 8th, 2022, Marc Jobst, who is directing episodes 1 and 2 of the show, announced that those first two episodes had wrapped filming on May 7th.

In a follow-up Tweet, Jobst said:

“Farewell South Africa. Land of sunshine, hard work, little creatures that visit each day, and mountains that every day took my breath away. Thank you to the incredibly talented crew that help bring this show to life.
Now to the next stage…the cut”

According to an interview with KFTV, there will be multiple underwater segments in Netflix’s One Piece:

“Netflix’s forthcoming pirate adventure series One Piece – We have been filming at Cape Town Film Studios in the deep-water tank. There are various scenes that require VFX elements, and scenes with key actors underwater.

The Frog Squad is a one-stop-shop for these sequences, working hand-in-hand with the stunt team and creatives. We provide the dive supervisor, commercial divers, water safety and underwater camera team. Frog Squad also provides the underwater cameras, underwater comms and diving equipment, as well as the working platforms underwater.

We spent weeks training the various cast for the sequences, making sure they are comfortable and able to work on SCUBA. The training included the doubles and the younger cast as well.

Producer Chris Symes always leads from the front giving his crew the tools and manpower required to achieve the work scheduled. We have been shooting with the Alexa Mini LF, and custom-made lenses for the show.”

At Netflix’s Geeked Week in June 2022, we got our very first look at some of the sets and concept art for the series, as well as an introduction by actor Iñaki Godoy and showrunners Steven Maeda and Matt Owens:

Filming wrapped for the series on August 22nd, 2022, with multiple cast members taking to social media to share the news.

Taz Skylar posted on Instagram saying:

“And just like that… I’m done
Thank you @onepiecenetflix for the opportunity to test myself beyond what I thought was possible.
I was struggling A LOT with my mental health when I first came into this massive new chapter. I didn’t really know which way was up or where I sat in the mix of all of this. But now I’m on the other side. I feel reborn as an adult. As someone who knows who he is, what he can do and exactly where he’s going.”

Emily Rudd posted:

“what a wild & wonderful almost year this has been y’all i am so full of gratitude and big juicy ghibli-style tears 🧡 thank u @onepiecenetflix & everyone involved for making this one of the most special experiences of my life and career, and thank u to y’all for trusting and supporting me in bringing our girl to life 🍊 this dream role was a much bigger dream than i could’ve ever imagined. thank u thank u thank u love u”

Cast for One Piece Netflix adaptation

one piece netflix cast

This section includes all the announced cast members. For a further breakdown of what actors and actresses will feature in the series, head on over to our full cast guide for Netflix’s One Piece.

Before we had the cast announced, casting grids revealed some of the characters that will feature and their age ranges, including:

“Luffy – Age 17, Hispanic/Latino
Zoro – Age 18, Asian
Nami – Age 19, Any Ethnicity
Usopp – Age 17, Black
Sanji – Age 19, Any Ethnicity
Garp – Age 55-79, Any Ethnicity
Koby – Age 16, Any Ethnicity”

In November 2021, we got One Piece’s first set of castings.

While we’ve got a full breakdown of the first round of castings separately, here’s a breakdown of the main castings:

  • Iñaki Godoy will play Monkey D. Luffy
  • Mackenyu will play Roronoa Zoro
  • Jacob Gibson will play Usopp
  • Emily Rudd will play Nami
  • Taz Skylar will play Sanji

Iñaki Godoy spoke to Vanity Teen about playing the main character in the series, saying:

“To portray a character like Luffy is one of the greatest honors of my career and I know that this experience will stay with me forever regardless of the outcome.”

The cast was expanded in March 2022 with an additional 6 cast members. These include:

  • Morgan Davies (they/them) will play Koby
  • Ilia Isorelýs Paulino will play Alvida
  • Aidan Scott will play Helmeppo
  • Jeff Ward will play Buggy
  • McKinley Belcher III will play Arlong
  • Vincent Regan will play Garp

Additionally, we know:

  • Peter Gadiot will play Shanks
  • Sven Ruygrok will play Cabaji
  • Len-Barry Simons will play Chu
  • Richard Wright-Firth will play Petty Officer Ukkari
  • Jean Henry will play Fullbody
  • Colton Osorio will play Young Luffy

At Netflix’s 2022 Geeked Week, we got even more cast announcements for One Piece. 6 new cast members were announced in total, including:

  • Langley Kirkwood is CAPTAIN MORGAN
  • Celeste Loots is KAYA
  • Alexander Maniatis is KLAHADORE
  • Craig Fairbrass is CHEF ZEFF
  • Steven Ward is MIHAWK
  • Chioma Umeala is NOJIKO
netflix one piece geeked week cast announcements

One Piece Geeked Week Cast Announcements

How many episodes will be in season 1 of One Piece?

When the show was first announced, ten episodes were confirmed. Madea later confirmed there are “10 scripts”.

We should probably discuss the rumors surrounding One Piece being reduced to eight episodes. A casting sheet that was reported by Murphy’s Multiverse indicated that there would be eight episodes instead of the originally planned ten. We’ve been unable to get confirmation on this but we’re still expecting 10.

Will there be a season 2 of One Piece?

As we alluded to above, an immense amount of source material can be covered in a live-action adaptation.

In the anime, the episode count currently stands at 1030 (as of August 2022), 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’ with 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.

Is the One Piece original anime series on Netflix?

Netflix now has 13 seasons of the original anime series in the United States.

The seasons Netflix US (other regions will vary) are streaming includes:

  • East Blue (61 episodes)
  • Entering into the Grand Line (16 episodes)
  • Enter Chopper at the Winter Island (15 episodes)
  • Alabasta (38 episodes)
  • TV Original 1 (13 Episodes)
  • Sky Island: Skypiea (30 episodes)
  • Sky Island: The Golden Bell (22 episodes)
  • The Naval Fortress (11 episodes)
  • The Foxy Pirate Crew (22 episodes)
  • The “Water Seven” Chapter (35 episodes)
  • Enies Lobby (21 episodes)
  • CP9 (22 episodes)
  • Goodbye Going Merry (19 episodes)

Everything Else We Know About Netflix’s One Piece

And finally, while Cowboy Bebop could suggest we’re getting an intro to the live-action series similar to the anime itself, we wanted to highlight this incredible intro here.

Are you looking forward to watching a live-action One Piece series on Netflix? Let us know in the comments below!

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