The head writer of Netflix’s upcoming live-action One Piece series has revealed how he was able to inspire confidence towards his ability to adapt the popular manga in series creator Eiichiro Oda.
First revealed in 2019, the live-action One Piece adapatation is being written by screen writer Matt Owens, who previously wrote and edited for Marvel’s Luke Cage, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and The Defenders.
On September 20th, Owens appeared as a guest on the latest edition of THE REVERIE, a livestream series hosted by One Piece YouTuber Rogersbase that features roundtable discussions between popular members of the One Piece YouTube community.
During his appearance on the livestream [54:45], Owens discussed how he was able to gain Oda’s trust by recalling his own experience with the series.
“When I was in my early 20s, I went through a really, really bad depression,” Owens recalled. “I was trying to find a series I could watch that would occupy all of my time so I didn’t have to do anything or think about anything.
Owens admits that he “had read One Piece when anime was really big for me in high school and stuff, but it didn’t click for me at the time, and we also know the horrendous 4kids adaptation, so I’d never really gotten into it.” However, he resolved at the time “to watch all of One Piece.”
“In a few short months, I caught all the way up from the beginning to Punk Hazard,” stated Owens.
For reference, there are 625 episodes between the beginning of the series and the conclusion of the Punk Hazard arc.
Owens then explained that he told Oda that “‘One of the great things about One Piece is it’s really a story about how everybody has tragedy, pain, sadness in their life, but it’s not what defines you.”
“What defines you is how you use that to motivate your future, and that no one has to do it alone. No one has to be alone,” Owens told the mangaka. “When you find those people around you who motivate you, lift you up, and help you, that’s the greatest power in this world. And that is the story I want to put out into the world.”
“So I know that One Piece means a lot to you, Oda,” Owens concluded to Oda. “It means a lot to me, because I honestly think that One Piece saved my life.”
According to Owens, at that moment, Oda “looked me in the eye, and he held his hand out across the table and said, ‘I have 100% faith in you now.’”
Details have been scare on Owens’ adaptation, but a previous exclusive published by Bounding Into Comics earlier this year does indicate that the writer has taken care to balance a faithful adaptation with the necessary changes needed to adapt the manga to a different medium.
Does Owens’ story inspire confidence in the live-action adaptation? Does Oda’s blessing? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!