It must’ve been a wild journey for showrunner Matt Owens. Starting off as a massive fan of One Piece, he went on to work closely with Eiichiro Oda, the man who created the iconic seafaring adventure, to bring it to live-action. Plus, he got the chance to explore ideas and concepts that were never fully realized in the original series but simply hinted at. One of those is the iconic battle between Mr. 7 and Zoro, which kicks off the character’s introduction in the live-action and sets up a second season.
In an Instagram post, the showrunner shared that the appearance of Baroque Works was one of the first ideas he pitched Oda as a way to introduce the character of Zoro before we arrive in Shells Town while also adding something that is canon but was never actually shown in the material. He jokingly shares that even Oda had to ask his editor about it and was greeted with a full drawing of the character the next day, which was the first time he got an actual design besides a doodle from his SPS section.
The design was also carried over into the live-action adaptation and gave us our first glimpse at what is to come beyond the East Blue. It also marked Oda being impressed by his knowledge of the series and its world which was just the first discussion he had with the creator, who even calls “a friend” in the post. There have been many hints that he has grown close with many involved in the production, which will hopefully also mark a stronger bond going into the second season.