Who wants to see a One Piece live action movie? The popular anime and manga franchise, One Piece, is reportedly getting a live action movie from Chinese company Shanghai Minghuan Investment, according to latest reports from Yibada.
This exciting news was announced by the Chinese company through a press release hosted by Business Wire, which stated that it has ?bought the copyright of popular Japanese manga and TV anime One Piece from the manga artist and owner of One Piece Eiichiro Oda for 1.6 billion yen (approximately $15.1 million).? The deal apparently bestows the rights to the China-based company for developing live-action films, TV series and other derivative products with the first project to enter development being a theatrical feature.
The press statement further revealed that Japanese actor Masataka Kubota, who gained widespread fame with K-tai Investigator 7 as Keita Arishima in 2008-2009, is going to play the lead role of Monkey D. Luffy. The 27-year-old Kanagawa native also recently played Light Yagami in the 2015 live-action TV drama adaptation of anime/manga Death Note, and even topped a recent Japanese Internet poll asking fans who they?d like to see play Luffy if and when a One Piece movie was made.
In addition, the press release stated that the ?heroine? will be played by Chinese vocalist Xie Leilei. A member of idol group GNZ48, Xie had been nicknamed ?The Girl from One Piece? due to her resemblance to one of Oda?s characters, Charlotte Purin, and reports have since speculated she is to play as the optimistic-romantic who is the 35th daughter of the Charlotte Family. But several anime sites consider it a stretch to call her a ?heroine? since Purin doesn?t show up until the manga?s 824th chapter and One Piece just reached Chapter 829, meaning that she has only been part of the story for about a month.
While the One Piece live action movie is a highly exciting news for anime fans, unfortunately it seems like an elaborate hoax, according to Kotaku. Shueisha, which publishes One Piece, completely denied the press release?s validity, telling several Japanese websites that it ?was not true.? Kotaku also reached out to actor Kubota?s talent agency, and a representative replied that the only projects he?s currently involved with are listed on its website and A Chinese-made One Piece movie is not one of them.
Furthermore, as Japan Today notes that considering the immense popularity and sustained profitability of the One Piece franchise, it?s unlikely that its Japanese rights holders will sell off their entire claim for a figure as low as $15.1 million. There?s also the unusual referral to Oda as the ?owner? of One Piece, when the legal ownership of anime and manga series tends to be a complex, many-pieced pie of original creators, publishers and production committee members. So, fans would probably want to wait a bit longer before they start anticipating the release of the new One Piece live action movie.