Netflix has the tendency to greenlight a plethora of projects to bank its growing success on. It recently started venturing into live-action adaptations of classic animes. While their attempt with Death Note was questionable, the upcoming Cowboy Bebop series seems promising, but we’ve only seen the cast so far and a tease of the soundtrack. A personal highlight was the announcement to adapt the manga series One Piece.
Eiichiro Oda‘s manga series started all the way back in 1997 and still continues to this day. The upcoming series was initially announced back in 2017, it wasn’t until 2020 that they got the backing of Netflix for the series. There hasn’t been a lot of details revealed since its announcement but with hints at its production starting soon, it’s the perfect timing to explore how much we actually know about the project and what is heading our way.
As the letter above showcases, the mangaka behind the series is an active executive producer on the series and will oversee its production. X-Files‘ Steven Madea joined the project as its executive producer and is currently still the only official talent attached to the project. Cowboy Bebop‘s Becky Clements will also act in the same role on the series. Agents of SHIELD and Luke Cage writer Matt Owens has publicly confirmed his involvement with the project during the podcast The Reverie, and was mentioned on the official Twitter page. He even confirmed that Oda supervised the scripts. In March, the working title “Project Roger” was revealed on Madea‘s Instagram account.
This brief tease was also followed by a brief interview by SyFy with Tomorrow Studios’ Marty Adelstein, who was working on the Snowpiercer series at the time and Netflix’s adaptation of Cowboy Bebop. He also gave the following update on when we can expect casting to begin and production:
We were supposed to start filming in August in Cape Town, South Africa. We anticipate the date being able to film [now is] September, at the latest. 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. 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.Marty Adelstein
There hasn’t really been any news since with only glimpses and rumors hitting the internet. If they are on track, they should be finishing up casting in the coming weeks before starting production in Cape Town Film Studios. There are rumors floating that Junie Lowry-Johnson joined the project as casting director alongside Black Sails‘ Marc Jobst as director, but these were never confirmed. The only movement that has been seen from the production is what looks like the Merry Go being built from all the way back in March as well.
There hasn’t been much of an update since until Illuminerdi dropped the character descriptions, which hints at the ongoing casting process. It seems the only one they could hint at is Ludi Lin for the role of Zoro, but that’s it. If their schedule still holds, we might hopefully get the official castings in the coming weeks before they officially start produciton on the project. It’ll be interesting to see if we get any set photos featuring the cast and when we can expect the project to finally hit Netflix after an almost five year long wait.