One Piece is celebrating its 25th anniversary in a big way. We’ve finally wrapped up the Wano arc and have entered the “final saga.” That isn’t all, as showrunners Steven Maeda and Matt Owens have also been actively working on a live-action adaptation of the long-running manga series by Eiichiro Oda. With live-action anime adaptations rarely hitting the mark, there’s the question if a cartoony series like One Piece could be adapted.
It seems that Owens shared that concern when he pitched to Tomorrow Studios, who hold the rights to the franchise. In an interview with influencer Nux Taku, they watched failed adaptations in the past, where he also shared his initial pitch for the project. He shares that he wanted to make sure if anyone screwed up adapting One Piece, he wanted to make sure it was at least someone who loved the original.
The thing that got me this job was when I first met with Tomorrow Studios when they had the rights, I said to them in my first meeting: “I don’t know if this can be done, but I also know if this is going to get fucked up, I have to be the one to try and fuck it up. Cause you’re not going to meet anybody in this industry that knows or loves One Piece more than me. That was the pitch that I made.Matt Owens
He also highlights the challenge of adapting anime, such as how Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop leaned too heavily into Ed’s out-there personality that doesn’t translate effectively into live-action. Even long before production started, Owens has been quite active within the One Piece community to share his views on the best way to adapt it, and we also recently learned that Oda is heavily involved to ensure the spirit of the original remains alive in this adaptation. The more we hear about this project, the more one can believe they’ll truly pull it off this time around. The only thing missing is some actual footage to go along with it.