As you know, Netflix is working with the production company Tomorrow Studios to put together a live-action rendition of the classic anime series Cowboy Bebop. No one’s seen it yet, but Netflix must be pleased with the results, because they’ve hired Tomorrow to produce a second series based on a popular Japanese property. Unfortunately it happens to be Bebop’s polar opposite, and a much harder world to adapt.
Yes, Netflix has just greenlit a live-action One Piece series to be produced by Marty Adelstein and Becky Clements (Snowpiercer, Hanna) and written by Steven Maeda (Lost, The X-Files) and Matt Owens (Agents of SHIELD, Luke Cage). Steven and Matt wlll also serve as executive producers. A ten-episode first season has been ordered.
This is impossible. This is literally impossible.
More than any other manga/anime brand I can think of, One Piece embraces the fact that it’s a cartoon. Its main character is an overconfident pirate named Monkey D. Luffy with the ability to stretch his body like rubber. He attacks his enemies by yelling “GUM GUM PISTOOOOOOOLLLLL!!” and fires a thousand punches into his opponent’s chest at the same time. His pirate crew primarily communicates by shouting at each other, with gigantic mouths twice the size of their own faces. Said crew includes a tiny talking reindeer and a living skeleton. We’ve only scratched the surface of this.
Saying you want to make a live-action One Piece is like saying you want to do a remake of Roger Rabbit where the rabbit is a man in a suit and all of Toontown is made up of real people. It simply doesn’t translate.
It makes me wonder if they even took a passing glance at the property before they agreed to do this. It feels like they saw a popular anime with a zillion episodes and then…that was all they needed to know.
Either the finished product will feel nothing like One Piece at all, or it’ll look completely ridiculous with a CGI budget in the billions. There is no possible outcome where this series turns out good. And it’s not like One Piece needs to be embarrassed by Western eyes YET AGAIN.