Due to studios not paying their writers and actors, the WGA and SAG strike left its scars on many productions that were slowly wrapping up. Yet, some still managed to work their way towards a release, such as the big release of One Piece in August. We didn’t know just how hard the live-action adaptation was affected by the strikes.
In an interview with Deadline after the WGA deal had finally been made, showrunner Matt Owens was finally able to talk about the show and also offered some insight into how it affected his work on the project. As it turns out, he was not able to truly finish the project but was “very close” to a final version. As such, most of the team had to carry on with the work while Eiichiro Oda was still supervising the project.
We were very close. I had just gotten to Tokyo to meet with Oda again in April and have conversations with him about where the cuts were, some things that he wanted to see. So we were back in post when the strike hit. We were picture-locked on most things, there was still a lot of visual effects, final music; it was mostly finals. I’d seen stages of the majority of it, which was another heartbreaking thing about it — I didn’t get to finish the show. But luckily, my post-production team, the effects team, they know me, and they know the show. So for having to step away, I still felt like the show was in the best possible hands. And Oda was still involved, even though we were not communicating about the show.Matt Owens
That is a shame but also highlights just how much love from everyone involved was poured into this series, as the lack of an active showrunner could’ve shown its fangs in other ways. The praise to the team working on the show is definitely a good sign of how far they managed to carry on even without Owens actively being able to be involved while supporting fair wages in the industry. Though, he also had some fun getting to see how some things turned out once the final reveal came.
It was exciting because I had never seen the final final cuts of this show until the rest of the world did, so I did feel like there were some little surprises for me to discover, Oh, that’s how that turned out, that’s f*cking great, things like that.Matt Owens
Here’s hoping that going into the second season, the production will be able to be part of the full journey this time around. That makes the renewal even sweeter, as it gives him the chance to fully be part of the process he started and what he invested five years of his life according to the interview.