While One Piece has not been renewed for season 2 yet by Netflix (Update: Netflix has now announced that it has been renewed for season 2, just two weeks after launch), that has not stopped its producers Marty Adelstein and Becky Clements from going on a press tour talking about what’s actually a 6-12 year plan for the show. They imply that based on conversations they’ve had with Netflix and creator Eiichriro Oda, season 2 is essentially a done deal and they’re just working out the fine print.
But in a new interview with Deadline, they talk about their full plan for One Piece. When asked if they have “hope” for a season 2, they said, uh:
“We have hopes for 12 seasons, there’s so much material.”
Okay, but what’s the actual plan?
“Everything we do is in concert with Netflix, [manga publisher] Shueisha and Oda-san, they are a part of that conversation. We’ve definitely had more thorough conversations about what we would do with Season 2 should we have the opportunity, and then less extensive conversations about where we would go for season three to six.”
I am starting to get the impression that One Piece is not exactly a typical Netflix production which has to bow and scrape for the honor of a second season. I believe Netflix probably had an idea in mind from the start that this could be a large, long-running series for them, at least if it was well-viewed and well-received, both of which appear to have happened here.
I believe that Netflix is aware of its “show graveyard” accusations about so many series piling up unfinished. And I also think it wants to establish more hit franchises with things like Stranger Things and You about to end, or former hits like The Witcher becoming decimated through internal issues. One Piece could just be getting started, and a six season run would be far, far longer than how long the average Netflix series runs. Twelve is…is Netflix even 12 years old?
In terms of timing for season 2, the group wants to get started quickly, and scripts were already written pre-Writers Strike. But they’re also worried about the weather where they film in South Africa, as that affects how they shoot in the region when it’s windy and wet.
Regardless, every interview I’ve seen projects an immense amount of confidence that One Piece is not only getting a second season, but has a great potential future at Netflix, who may be wising up when it comes to long term investment in good shows, even if they aren’t setting records. If they commit to One Piece, I predict that will go well for them.