Even after failure with Cowboy Bebop, Tomorrow Studios attempted to create One Piece live-action.
While the show was cancelled after just one season, Tomorrow Studio understood its failure and learned from it.
In an interview with Deadline, the CEO of the studio, Marty Adelstein, and President Becky Clements explained why Cowboy Bebop failed but One Piece became a hit.
They explained that to make a proper adaptation, one needs buy-in from the creator.
In the case of Cowboy Bebop, the author didn’t want to be involved.
“Here’s what we learned. You have to have buy-in from the creator. The creator of Cowboy Bebop did not want anything to do with it.
Not that he was disagreeable about it; he just didn’t want to be involved. It’s not what he wanted to do.”
Whereas in the case of One Piece, author Eiichiro Oda was a big part of it. Tomorrow Studios also learned that they need to be very close to the characters.
So, they stayed as close to the characters as they could, and this made a huge difference.
Here is what the producer said:
“So having the buy-in of the creator, having Oda buy into this and bless it, made a big difference. But I think the main lesson was that Cowboy Bebop was an adaptation.
With One Piece, we learned that you have to stay very close to the characters that the creator created and that people wanted to see Luffy as Luffy and embody all the characteristics that he had.
So we stayed much, much closer, in fact, as close as we could to the original to get the fans to buy in, and that seemed to be the thing that made the difference.”
They further emphasized that everything they do is in collaboration with Netflix, Shueisha, and author Eiichiro Oda.