“Cowboy Bebop,” the live-action adaptation of the legendary 1998 anime series, was quietly cancelled after one cliff-hanging season finale on streaming giant Netflix. This perceived failure, as indicated by mixed and negative reviews despite praise for the cast, was seized by naysayers as vindication, alongside the 2017 “Death Note” movie, of their dislike for Netflix and its experiments in turning already-good anime into shows with live actors. But Netflix is not quite done with this phase yet, having its next project being the adaption of Eiichiro Oda’s manga (and long-running anime series) “One Piece.” Its main stars were announced back in November last year, and now the supporting cast too.
IGN has it that Netflix has revealed more names to the cast of “One Piece,” the fantastical pirate adventure anime that they are adapting for live-action. The main cast was introduced in November 2021, as an international ensemble of TV and film stars including Iñaki Godoy (Mexico), Mackenyu (Japan) and Emily Rudd (US). They play Monkey D. Luffy and his Straw Hat Pirates, sailing the world to search for the treasure of Gold Roger, the Pirate King, while encountering monstrous sea-life, other pirates and the World Government’s ruthless Marine fleet.
The supporting cast portrays characters Luffy and his would-be crewmembers meet as they themselves assemble into their own team. Australian Morgan Davies plays Koby, a boy befriended by Luffy who later joins the Marines. Ilia Isorelýs Paulino costars as Alvida, a grotesquely obese female pirate captain and Luffy’s first opponent. Jeff Ward (“Agents of SHIELD”) will be Buggy, another pirate empowered by a Devil Fruit. McKinley Belcher III (“Ozark”) is Arlong, a cruel fishman and pirate warlord. Aidan Scott portrays Helmeppo, son of a Marine officer and eventual companion of Koby’s. Lastly, British actor Vincent Regan (soon on 2022’s “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom”) takes the role of Garp, Luffy’s grandfather and a Marine Admiral.
“One Piece” on Netflix was announced back in 2020, after plans for a live-action series were floated in 2017 during the original manga’s 20th anniversary. Creator Eiichiro Oda joins an executive producer team including Marty Adelstein (“Prison Break,” “Teen Wolf”) and Steven Maeda (“Lost”). Despite the short life of its live-action adaptation predecessor “Cowboy Bebop,” this production looks to be all systems go, although Netflix has yet to give a definite premiere date.” The series also stars Jacob Romero Gibson (Ussop) and Taz Skylar (Sanji).
Other Netflix live-action ideas from existing anime includes “Yu Yu Hakusho” (1992-94 anime) by Japanese production studio Robot Communications, and a take on “Mobile Suit Gundam” with Jordan Vogt-Roberts (2017’s “Kong: Skull Island”) as director.
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