Iñaki Godoy may have decided to tackle one of the hardest characters to bring to live-action, the loveable Monkey D. Luffy in Netflix’s live-action One Piece series. There’s a lot of cynicism surrounding these types of adaptations due to the way animation or drawings are generally translated into live-action. With quite a few projects not capturing the spirit of the original, they have a big goal to accomplish, but Godoy seems very aware of that challenge.
In an interview with Decider, Godoy got a chance to sit down and discuss what it’s like to bring this iconic character to life. He highlights the biggest challenge is simply in balancing the two worlds of this kind of pirate-themed adventure with supernatural elements, especially when trying to still ground it as much as possible.
You have this world where there’s Laos pirates and stretchy pirates, and you need to find a way to make that feel real human.Iñaki Godoy
He goes on to highlight the biggest challenge being how should he bring someone who is made of rubber to live action. He definitely used existing material as a reference, such as trying to replicate the way Luffy grabs his arm after punching. He definitely tried to look into as many details as he could in bringing the character to life.
How can I translate this rubber-man into live-action? In those cases, I really used the anime and manga for reference and I literally tried to replicate the way this guy [Luffy] fights. I can see how this guy fights. Why wouldn’t I use that as a reference? When he throws a punch and he takes it back, he puts his hand on his bicep or his shoulder. So, if he does that, I should do that too, right? And when he’s about to throw a punch, sometimes he lifts up his leg. I just tried to look for those little details in the original product.Iñaki Godoy
Of course, TUDUM’s reveal was just the teaser trailer for the adaptation and we still have some time before we get an actual full look at what to expect. The only villain teased so far was Buggy, who is the only one with his own Devil Fruit power. So, the early season won’t have to juggle that many VFX elements. A lot of focus is already on the portrayal of his stretchy powers and here’s hoping the final product can deliver.