The live-action adaptation of One Piece gave us a unique backdrop with many iconic sets. More than what one would expect from most modern adaptations nowadays after the pandemic limited productions in many ways. Plus, it’s a pirate adventure that’ll take place across the wide seas of the East Blue. One of the reasons they decided to film in South Africa seems to be due to executive producer Chris Symes‘ experience working on Black Sails according to producer Becky Clements.
We knew we were going to shoot there because Chris Symes, our executive producer, produced Black Sails, and he built many pirate ships for that series. There were a couple of them in place already that we knew we would have an advantage and be able to refurbish.Becky Clements
While the location offered some beautiful and fitting backdrops for the various islands, it did bring with it, its own challenges. Clements highlights that the weather was a big challenge as it limited when they could film the various sequences; not too surprising for the long production time in 2022.
One of the challenges you have in South Africa is weather, you can shoot best at a certain time of year, so that always comes into play, and even the weather cooperated, which isn’t always the case. So we had many challenges, but we had the most professional and awe inspiring team there that just helped us pull it off.Becky Clements
Of course, future seasons have the advantage that they have some experience in, and who knows if they will fully stick to South Africa due to the variety of climates they will face in the Grand Line. Of course, though, there are many potential ways they can make that work with the sound stages provided, as they will still need to travel with the Going Merry from island to island. Here’s hoping a season two renewal is just around the corner.