Massively popular manga One Piece is getting a live-action adaptation from Netflix. The adaptation was first announced back in 2017, with Netflix’s involvement revealed last year. Now in 2021, the show’s main cast has finally been announced, and One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda seems excited about how things are going.
The live-action show will star Iñaki Godoy as Monkey D. Luffy, Emily Rudd as Nami, Mackenyu as Roronoa Zoro, Jacob Romero Gibson as Usopp, and Taz Skylar as Sanji.
In a written statement, One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda expressed his excitement for the Netflix series—with the exclamation points to prove it.
We’ve been working with Netflix and Tomorrow Studios on the massive project that is the Hollywood live action series adaptation of One Piece! How many years has it been since it was announced, right? I know, I know! But rest assured we’ve been making steady progress all along! It’s not easy when you’re working with people from different cultures! But it’s preciously that process that can yield something special! For now, we’re able to announce the main cast! Rather, we need to hurry and announce it or else it’ll be leaked, apparently! Hilarious, lol. Their face, the size of their mouths and hands, their aura, the way they carry themselves, their voice, their acting skills, their height, the balance amongst the Straw Hat Crew, etc…!
We decided on this cast after numerous discussion involving people around the world! These are the people who will be our Straw Hat Pirates! It’ll take a bit more to get the show done, but we’ll continue to do our best to deliver a show that we’re confident will be enjoyed by everyone around the world! Look forward to more updates in the future!
As an artist, it’s understandable that Oda would put importance on things like the actors’ hands and mouths—which certainly makes it seem like he’s closely involved with the project. That’s not always the case with live-action adaptations (see Gantz), and suggests he’s not just an executive producer in name only. (The show’s other executive producers are Marty Adelstein and Becky Clements, who are also shepherding on the Cowboy Bebop live-action series.)
Filming for the show was supposed to begin last summer in Cape Town, but was delayed by Covid-19. In early October, showrunner Steven Maeda posted a photo of himself in Cape Town, writing the word, “arrival.” It seems like the series will be using practical effects, which is very cool. On Instagram, cast member Mackenyu posted photos of the ships that will be used in the show, including what looks to be the Going Merry.
During the production of any TV series, it’s hard to know how the show will ultimately turn out. However, as of right now, Eiichiro Oda is excited!