It feels like forever since the live-action adaptation of One Piece was first announced. To be fair, it was back in 2017 and after a long wait, alongside a pandemic, the production finally started when we entered 2022. While it seems we’re still some time away from actual footage from the show, Geeked Week gave us a first look at the One Piece set, as well as some additional castings. So, let’s take a closer look at what was revealed during the brief but great showcase of what showrunners Steve Maeda and Matt Owens are working on.
Miss Love Duck
The showcase started off with a look at some amazing detailed concept art. It included our first official look at Alvida’s iconic ship, the Love Duck. We sadly don’t get a good look at its captain, but Ilia Isorelýs Paulino is confirmed to play the ruthless leader of the Alvida Pirates. We don’t know exactly where they are going, but we theorized that they may be taking a cue from the anime, which kicked off Monkey D. Luffy’s (Iñaki Godoy) adventure on the ship, where his fateful meeting with Koby (Morgan Davies) puts them both on separate adventures towards the Grand Line. The little tease of how they brought the boat to life is also a great showcase of the details such as even its munition having her heart on it.
The Going Merry is the Straw Hats’ iconic ship that they sail into the Grand Line. It’s no wonder they would showcase the ship that would pull through every possible danger thrown at it; including Luffy. The ship is taking quite a different approach in its design, as the goat head is way more defined and stepped in more realism. While it’s hard to not think of the iconic simple design from the manga, it’s great to see Merry actually being merry, as what we thought from leaked set photos was her screaming but is actually just her smiling.
If you look closely, you can actually see our first tease of Luffy’s live-action design with the open red shirt. What stands out is that from the angle the character is drawn, it seems he is wearing jeans rather than his usual shorts, but it may just be something used in earlier designs. It should also be noted that the iconic Straw Hat symbol got a makeover that still feels true to that of the original from the manga, just less rounded. The real-life boat showcased seemingly wasn’t quite finished, as the eyes aren’t colored in.
Now, here’s the juicy part of the showcase, we get a good look at how they are adapting Chef Zeff’s iconic ship. Not only did they reveal that Craig Fairbrass is playing the owner and mentor of Sanji (Taz Skylar) but also showcased how they recreated the entire restaurant. The concept art showcases a few of the details such as the mouth no longer being a detachable boat but rather a unique bar area. It’s interesting that the concept art seemingly highlights a night shot, which could be a tease for when some of the Baratie Arc takes place.
There’s one big difference that does stand out. The Baratie is no longer a restaurant that’s just stranded in the middle of the sea. While it is still a restaurant boat, you can clearly see that it connects to various docks that lead into the restaurant with concept art even teasing other environments around it. So, it may be part of an island or simply have a unique docking location that adds some new platforms for the eventual fight with Don Krieg, who has yet to be cast. The details in the interior hopefully also mean we’ll see the restaurant get wrecked throughout their battle.
Arlong’s Map Room
While not being showcased, there was a highlight by Matt Owens that they have been working on Arlong’s map room for weeks. Many manga fans will instantly make the connection with what emotional importance that room holds to Emily Rudd‘s Nami and while it’s a shame we didn’t even get a tease of what it looks like. Still, the matter of the fact is that it getting highlighted showcases just how much this team truly loves Eiichiro Oda‘s manga. So, maybe a future tease is on the horizon that offers a better look at the sets and villages we have yet to see.
Windmill Village and Red Force
While talking about the Baratie, there was an interesting group of set videos being shown that seemingly have no direct correlation to the iconic boat restaurant. well, the windmills seemingly hint at this being Luffy’s hometown. It is where he meets Shanks (Peter Gadiot) and sets sail to become King of the Pirates. We even get a good look at Partys Bar, which is where we have the iconic bar sequence between Shanks and a mountain bandit. It’s also where we’re introduced to Makino, whose child over the many years of One Piece has led to quite a few fan theories.
Yet, if you look at the right corner of the first image, there’s one more detail that could be easily overlooked. That is the Red Force’s iconic dragon-inspired figurehead. It belongs to Shanks, and a set photo we saw some time ago confirms they have a life-sized boat docked on the set. It’s crazy to see this shot and realize that ship is really there just towering over the village. There’s also one shot with a red ship that could be connected to the Red Force during the showcase. It’ll be interesting to see just how much they use it in the upcoming series.
Before I get on to the cast additions, I want to point out one additional ship that they for some reason give some attention to. While it’s nothing that one would connect, at first sight, it may actually be connected to the Baratie storyline. Given the shape and housing in the back, it does seem like this could be Johnny and Yosaku’s ship that the crew use to get to Arlong Park.
It’s unclear if that is indeed their ship, as the design could also be hinting at something belonging to Buggy’s crew, whose ship has been noticeably absent during the promotion. It’s the little house it is parked at that adds a few questions, but it’s fun to speculate. We don’t know what elements may get adapted going into the live-action adaptation, especially with fewer episodes than the anime to work with. So, it’s going to be interesting to see if this ship is simply a set design.
New Casting Announcements
While not directly part of the showcase, we got quite a few casting additions. We have Usopp’s technical love interest with Celeste Loots‘ Kaya. Her infamous butler Klahadore is also officially announced with Alexander Maniatis in the role. Their addition confirms that we will visit Syrup village and follow that arc in some format as well. As Baratie was highlighted quite a bit, we have Craig Fairbrass as Chef Zeff, who also is no stranger to working with Taz Skylar. Nami’s sister Nojiko has been found, as she will be played by Chioma Umeala. Last, but not least, we also have the chin himself, Captain Morgan played by Langley Kirkwood, who’s the father of Helmeppo (Aidan Scott). The only main characters still missing so far would be the King of the Pirates, Gol D. Roger, Smoker, Jacko, and Don Krieg. Of course, there are also some smaller roles that haven’t been officially announced yet, as they may slowly announce them building up to the series’ release.