If you’re a manga fan, then you’re very familiar with One Piece. The Japanese series, written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda, has been around since 1997. It began as a serialized story in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine and is compiled in 95 different volumes. The story is so popular, it jump-started an entire media franchise. To date, it is best-selling manga series of all time.
That makes it perfect fodder for adaptation, which is exactly what’s about to happen. According to The Hollywood Reporter, a live-action television series based on One Piece is coming to Netflix. The streaming service is teaming with Tomorrow Studios—a partnership between producer Marty Adelstein and ITV Studios, which is also producing the Cowboy Bebop adaptation—for the 10-episode series. Steven Maeda, who previously worked on shows like Lost and The X-Files, and Luke Cage‘s Matt Owens will adapt the manga, with Adelstein and Tomorrow Studios’ Becky Clements executive producing. Creator Eiichiro Oda will also executive produce.
The story of One Piece follows a character named Monkey D. Luffy, a boy who gained the properties of rubber after eating a mysterious thing known as a Devil Fruit. Inspired by the travails of Red Haired Shanks, a pirate he idolized as a child, Monkey D. Luffy embarks on a quest to find a fabled treasure known as “One Piece” and to become king of the pirates. Along with his pirate crew, he travels to magical, fantastical locations, populated by humans and fish people and dwarves and giants.
One Piece has already spawned a number of animated feature films, television specials, and an anime series which began airing in 1999 and was produced by Toei Animation, the same company behind series like Sailor Moon, Digimon, and Dragon Ball. That series aired on the Cartoon Network in the United States. It’s also been the subject of trading card games, video games, novels, guidebooks, and more. One Piece even has its own indoor theme park in Japan, called the Tokyo One Piece Tower.
In 1997, the series made history when it won the Guinness World Record title for having the most copies published for the same comic book series by a single author. Eiichiro Oda’s manga has, to date, published over 460 million copies worldwide.
The live-action series already has its own Twitter account, and has posted announcements in various languages—including in One Piece‘s native Japanese.
We’re so excited to see Netflix venturing into the world of manga, and for breathing live-action life into beloved and long-running series like Cowboy Bebop and now One Piece. It’ll bring these wonderful international stories to new audiences, and give them the big-budget treatment they deserve. We can’t wait to see the magical, aquatic worlds of One Piece brought to life this way.
No word yet on a potential release date for the One Piece series. We also don’t have any casting or director information at this time. We’ll have our eyes peeled as more information for this exciting project is made available.
Featured Image: Toei Animation