One Piece: Marc Jobst Explains The Key Difference Between The Live-Action Show And Marvel

Were you a fan of “One Piece” before taking on this project? Whether you were or not, what do you hope audiences get out of this series?

No, I wasn’t particularly. I knew of its existence. I knew both the manga and the anime, but wasn’t really [familiar with it] until the studio phoned me up to ask if I would be interested in coming to talk to them about it. I read the scripts and thought, “This is really special,” and the actors that came in to audition would say, “You have no idea how much this means to me. This has seen me through some really dark times.”

As a director, you’re coming into a show that has got action and it’s got scale and it’s got intimate moments of real character insight — and it’s a pirate show. It’s about something. It’s about following your dreams. It’s about believing in yourself. It’s about being loyal to each other, being loyal to our friends, because sometimes our friends are more family than our blood family, and that’s okay. It’s about Luffy inspiring everybody to be themselves and to be more of themselves.

Whilst I didn’t know what “One Piece” was in particular, I thought, “We need this in the world right now. We need this kind of energy, this kind of hope, and this kind of spirit.” I fell in love with it, and I hope that the fans who love the manga and the anime will fall in love with the actors and the characters and that the world that we’ve created will stand alongside the others and inform and build their love for the anime and the manga, and vice versa. For those who don’t know anything about “One Piece,” I hope they step onto these boats with these guys and come on an adventure.

What’s next for you? I know the writers’ and actors’ strikes have put things on hold, but anything in the pipeline? Any chance you’ll be involved in the “Daredevil” reboot when it happens?

I don’t know about “Daredevil,” to be honest. “One Piece” has been so absorbing. I haven’t really followed up with Charlie [Cox] and Vincent [D’Onofrio] and Jon [Bernthal], so I’m not quite sure what the Disney take on it is. I’m sure it’ll be fantastic, though, because Charlie and Vincent and Jon wouldn’t sign up if it wasn’t. 

Otherwise, I’m writing and directing a movie about homelessness. It’s about three homeless kids that use rap, beatbox, and movement and dance to tell a story about what a home is. I’m also a director on a World War II film — a very different story [for me] set at the end of the second World War, which I’m rewriting at the moment before we go into production. Plus, I’m hoping that “One Piece” goes on to Season 2.

“ONE PIECE” is a live action pirate adventure created in partnership with Shueisha and produced by Tomorrow Studios and Netflix. Matt Owens and Steven Maeda are writers, executive producers, and showrunners. Eiichiro Oda, Marty Adelstein, and Becky Clements also executive produce. All eight episodes of the live-action adaptation of “One Piece” premiere August 31 on Netflix.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

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