Steven Maeda, the co-producer of Netflix’s One Piece live action series, has unequivocally shot down any hopes that fans might have had of a romance developing between Zoro and Nami in the series.
The onscreen chemistry between Mackenyu and Emily Rudd, the actors who portray Zoro and Nami in One Piece live action, made fans – especially those who haven’t watch the original series – anticipate a potential romance between the two.
Their interactions, from boarding the ship to collaborating while trapped by Buggy and even some moments at Kaya’s mansion played their part in the Zoro x Nami ship sailing.
However, in a recent interview with TVLine, Maeda revealed that the relationship between the two might not develop beyond friendship. And the decision was based on the ultimatum given by none other than the manga’s creator Eiichiro Oda.
According to Maeda, Oda put down a “no romance among the crew members” rule. Because of this rule, he emphasized that there is little to no chance of Zoro x Nami happening in One Piece Live Action. Meaning, it’s unlikely that the two of them will be involved romantically with each other.
“One of the mandates from Eiichiro Oda was against romance on the crew,” Maeda said. “That is a hard no, as far as the manga and the live-action show are concerned.”
Despite that, the co-producer acknowledged the chemistry between the two co-stars and added that viewers were free to interpret it as they wanted.
“…they just had great chemistry together. But that certainly was not the intent. One of the fun things about watching television is what you read into it and what you bring to the table when you’re watching a show,” Maeda said.
Netflix’s live action adaptation of One Piece started streaming on the platform from Aug 31, 2023. A season 2 of the series has not yet been confirmed.
The cast includes Iñaki Godoy, who portrays Monkey D. Luffy, Emily Rudd as Nami, Mackenyu as Roronoa Zoro, Jacob Romero Gibson as Usopp, and Taz Skylar will play Sanji. Colton Osorio will portray a young Luffy.
Furthermore, Peter Gadiot will play Shanks, Morgan Davies as Koby, Ilia Isorelýs Paulino as Alvida, Aidan Scott as Helmeppo, Jeff Ward as Buggy, McKinley Belcher III as Arlong, and Vincent Regan as Garp.
The other cast members include:
- Alexander Maniatis as Klahadore
- Steven Ward as Mihawk
- Craig Fairbrass as Chef Zeff
- Langley Kirkwood as Captain Morgan
- Celeste Loots as Kaya
- Chioma Umeala as Nojiko
It was previously revealed that the original Japanese voice actors will be returning to portray their characters for the Japanese dub of the live-action adaptation
The live-action will be adapting the East-Blue Saga from the One Piece manga and then “broaden from there”. Matt Owens will serve as the upcoming show’s writer, while Steven Maeda and Becky Clements will be executive producers along with Eiichiro Oda.
The soundtrack for the live action, titled “Wealth, Fame, Power,” is composed by Sonya Belousova and Giona Ostinelli, best known for their work on “The Witcher“.
Netflix will exclusively stream the series, produced by Tomorrow Studios, a partnership between producer Marty Adelstein and ITV Studios.
The live action adaptation was under production in South Africa since Feb 1, 2022.