Netflix’s One Piece live-action adaptation has become a surprise hit since it finished airing, though it hasn’t yet been renewed for a second season. The producers say scripts for season 2 are already done, and the next season could be ready to air 12 to 18 months after production starts.
Though live-action anime adaptations have almost as bad a track record as video game movies, One Piece has been the surprising exception, raising the question of where the series goes from here. In an interview with Variety, the leadership of One Piece production studio Tomorrow Studios talked about their plans for it.
“We’ve got scripts ready,” said CEO Marty Adelstein. “Realistically, hopefully, a year away, if we move very quickly, and that is a possibility. Somewhere between a year and 18 months, we could be ready for air,” President Becky Clements added, though noting that the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike could delay that estimation further.
The series hasn’t been renewed for a second season yet, but signs are good. The first season topped Netflix’s internal Top 10 list in the week of its launch, boasting 18.5 million views. “They keep it, as you know, close to the vest until post-launch,” Clements explained. “But with Netflix’s support of the title, we expected it to be number one and we sensed their research and algorithms probably saw the possibility for that. But in our subsequent calls post-launch, we have been told that we have exceeded expectations, which is also fantastic.”
“I think [Netflix is] looking at various situations about how many episodes they do, do they break them up?” Adelstein speculated. “I think they’re trying to figure that out this week. I suspect we’ll hear from them in the next week to two weeks. There seems to be a big impetus to keep this going and to come up with a long-term strategy.”
Tomorrow Studios also produced Netflix’s live action Cowboy Bebop series, which was met with considerably less success, being canceled by Netflix within a month of its premiere.
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