‘One Piece’ Live Action Showrunner and Netflix Head Reveal the “tremendously challenging” Aspects of the Hit Series

Published 09/01/2023, 9:13 AM EDT

via Imago

Just like the elusive object it was named after, the One Piece live-action rendition quickly became the crowning jewel in Netflix’s treasure trove of successes. Unlike the OTT mogul’s other attempts at fantasy adventure live actions like The Witcher spin-off, One Piece has even won over the original fans of the series. No wonder fans worldwide have proudly hoisted their Jolly Rogers after embarking on the epic voyage the first season took them through to honor the anime’s epic victory.

From Luffy’s gum-gum awesomeness to the richly imagined world of pirates, the series managed to capture it all in a masterpiece of a series. But the makers of the show have now revealed that the grueling task came with its own unique set of challenges. 

The impossible standards set by One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda 

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In an interview with Variety, One Piece’s co-showrunner Steven Maeda confessed that the process was “tremendously challenging.” According to him, the “beloved property” status the show holds in its creator’s heart added to the pressure to do justice to it. Besides that, Netflix Head Peter Friedlander cited the “logistics” of the endless work it required as another reason.

Although Maeda attributed the show’s rather hefty budget to be a big help during the strenuous mission, he also credited “Oda-san’s oversight.” As for the next season, he said it will happen “one step at a time.” This is because Oda’s legendary manga left them with “many possibilities and endless permutations.”

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So, while the straw hat’s crew navigated through dangers and constant dilemmas, its creators fought similar battles. Thankfully, they had the experience of other failed live-action adaptations to wean them off repeating certain mistakes. 

What lesson did Cowboy Bebop and The Witcher spinoff teach Netflix?

When Netflix attempted live-action renditions of Cowboy Bebop and The Witcher: Blood Origin, the results were disastrous.  According to Cowboy Bebop’s makers, keeping a show “true to its source material” is crucial. One Piece‘s producer cited this as a “lesson” they did not repeat with One Piece. Similarly, The Witcher’s spin-off also flopped because of its writer’s extreme deviations from the original.

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The same writer is now in charge of the Naruto live-action film’s script, which has raised concerns. Hopefully, the filmmakers will also pick up on the lessons that Netflix has already learned. And pull off a live-action as iconic as the OTT mogul’s One Piece.

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Do you think One Piece‘s makers rose above the many challenges successfully to make an excellent series? Or was your experience of the One Piece live-action a letdown? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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Ibadat Kaur

586 articles

Ibadat Kaur is an entertainment writer at Netflix Junkie. Her love for Narcos & Pedro Pascal is what brought her to the world of entertainment news. She has immense love for historical and investigative documentaries on people and cultural practices.

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