Netflix's One Piece Had a Very Hard Time Casting Zoro

The showrunner of Netflix's One Piece reveals that casting the Straw Hat Pirate, Roronoa Zoro, was a difficult task.

While Monkey D. Luffy's Gear Fifth might be the talk of the town in the world of One Piece, the month of August is planning another big salvo in the shonen franchise. On August 31st, Netflix is dropping the first season of the live-action One Piece, with the likes of Inaki Goody, Emily Rudd, Jacob Romero Gibson, and Taz Skylar portraying the Straw Hat Pirates of Luffy, Nami, Usopp, and Sanji respectively. With Roronoa Zoro cast as actor Mackenyu, the showrunner of the series went into detail about how getting the right actor for the role was quite difficult.

Mackenyu hasn't just had a prolific acting career, he has portrayed quite a few anime characters in the realm of live-action. The actor has had roles in live-action movies that depicted anime franchises such as JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Fullmetal Alchemist, Knights of the Zodiac, and Rurouni Kenshin to name a few. Taking on the role of Roronoa Zoro might be one of his biggest roles to date, as One Piece remains a legendary shonen franchise in a world of anime-heavy hitters. Changing his hair color to green and training to take on the legendary swordsman, Mackenyu has clearly thrown himself into the role.

(Photo: Netflix)

Casting Roronoa Zoro

Showrunner Matt Owens has been a major cheerleader for Netflix's One Piece, routinely taking opportunities to discuss the upcoming live-action adaptation. In a recent blurb, Owens stated that finding the right actor to play the Straw Hat swordsman was nearly as difficult as casting Monkey D. Luffy, "Casting Zoro was as difficult as Luffy, we had a very specific checklist that we needed. Mackenyu checked all of those boxes & then some. He works really hard, especially with his stunt work. He took it very seriously and it shows."

Netflix's One Piece series is adapting the East Blue Saga from the original source material, meaning that we'll witness a live-action first-time meeting of Zoro with the likes of Luffy, Nami, Usopp, and Sanji. With One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda on board as Executive Producer, the live-action series is looking to stay true to its roots and will have Zoro introduced to quite a few familiar faces, hero and villain alike.

Do you think Mackenyu is a worthy addition to the live-action Straw Hat Pirates? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly @EVComedy to talk all things comics, anime, and the world of the Grand Line. 

Via Philazora