Only a few weeks ago, we got our first look at the upcoming live-action adaptation of One Piece that is set to get released on Netflix at some point this year. We’ve had rumors that the series is eyeing a late August release, which would work with a strong promotional front during this year’s Geeked Week, which is very likely going to arrive in June. The adaptation spearheaded by showrunners Matt Owens and Steven Maeda has been hinted as one of Netflix’s big hopes to have a new Stranger Things on their hand, which isn’t too surprising given just how big of a seller the manga is.
Now, we haven’t heard much about their future plans for this adaptation, as Netflix tends to wait quite a bit before giving any renewals or updates for their projects. The Witcher might be the only real exception where we got a renewal for a second season ahead of its launch. Yet, we know that some projects are written before they’re even renewed such as The Sandman and even the canceled Cowboy Bebop. Now, a new listing on the Writers Guild of America West may have hinted that script work may already have started for One Piece‘s potential second season.
First things first, this is not a confirmation that Netflix already renewed the show for a second season. As mentioned previously, we’ve had cases where they worked ahead of time hoping to jump into the next production cycle without losing time to prepare the scripts; something ironically Stranger Things didn’t do for its last season, as their writing room didn’t come together until after the release of the latest season. Still, it’s an interesting inclusion for not just one but multiple writers that were already listed on the WGA directory to be involved with a second season.
One Piece showrunner Matt Owens‘ WGA page has an interesting addition that states he’s acting as Executive Producer on One Piece with a “Season Count” of two. He’s only mentioned as a showrunner for one season, but the addition of a second season for his role as Executive Producer is quite a curious addition, especially as he’s not the only one to have this season count.
The only oddity is the time window of 2022 to 2024 not matching with the showrunner designation of 2023 to 2024. Comparing it to co-showrunner Steven Maeda, the time window is given from 2022 to 2023. So, it’s odd that the production year is missing as when compared to other writers it normally is included in the timeframe. It should also be noted that Maeda does not have a second season mentioned on his WGA writer’s page as of now.
Now, what makes this so interesting is that Owens isn’t the only writer from the first season with a second-season count included. Ian Stokes, who wrote the second and seventh episodes, also has a season count of two for his role as co-Executive Producer. Fellow Episode 7 writers Lindsay Gelfand and Allison Weintraub also have two seasons included for One Piece with their shared title of Executive Story Editor.
The reason this is worth noting is that unlike IMDb not anyone can just sign up and add information to the WGA directory. As pointed out by the site, this is either verified independently by the WGAW as well as the WGAE (Writer’s Guild of America East), or information uploaded by the writers themselves. Not just anyone can make an account and upload information, which adds a little something to this inclusion but still is not a full confirmation. There’s a chance that is added accidentally or just in preparation for a potential second season if given the renewal, as they may have started at least mapping out the Alabasta Saga, which would be the focus in a second season after the East Blue.
To also contrast it, Wednesday has officially been renewed and that is something the WGA has added directly to the main site of the show with a production window of 2023 to 2024 (very likely just a temporary addition as we have no official production timeline). We don’t know if they’ve already worked on the scripts for a second season ahead of time, but curiously staff writer April G. Blair, for example, does not have a writing credit for the second season while Executive Producer and co-writer Kayla S. Alpert does.
So, it’s unclear if Blair may have returned for the second season’s writing room or generally moved on to a different project. There’s a good chance that these additions are mainly for producing credits and showcasing that work on the second season’s overarching plotlines may be worked on rather than singular scripts per episode. We still don’t have the credit for One Piece‘s fourth episode even though most have been uploaded in January.
Another comparison to highlight how WGA works is that Lauren S. Hissrich, the showrunner for The Witcher, is listed for a season count of four, which has been confirmed and they haven’t even released the third season yet. At the moment, it is still eyeing a Summer 2023 release, which will mark the final appearance of Henry Cavill in the iconic role of Gerald of Rivia but would match with them starting work on the scripts for the next season ahead of its release.
If there ever was a show that had a good chance to pull in a big viewership for a second season, it is One Piece. We’ve seen more of this project than even the other two major players rumored to release this year, the live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender and Three-Body Problem. It doesn’t mean anything definite but if they are starting to map out a second season, they can jump into production as soon as they can once a renewal is given to avoid an issue like Stranger Things having way too long breaks between seasons. Maybe it’s a little hopeful but the potential is there.
Source: ScreenRant, The Wrap, WGA Registry, WGA (One Piece), WGA (Matt Owens), WGA (Steven Maeda), WGA (Ian Stokes), WGA (Lindsay Gelfand), WGA (Allison Weintraub), WGA (Wednesday), WGA (April G. Blair), WGA (Kayla S. Alpert), WGA (Lauren S. Hissrich)