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One Piece Film: Red's Director Had One Important Mission In Mind

Audiences are getting another cinematic "One Piece" adventure with "One Piece Film: Red." The film sees Monkey D. Luffy and the Straw Hat pirates attending a very special concert. Its performer, Uta, is both a mysterious pop star and someone all too familiar to the young hero. What follows balances a mix of emotions against a catchy pop soundtrack; the film's songs have become musical sensations across the world.

Audiences are already making the project a record breaker in "One Piece" history. It has set box office records in Japan — becoming the country's ninth highest-grossing film of all time in November 2022 (via Crunchyroll). That success translated to other markets, including the U.S. In its first weekend alone, "One Piece Film: Red" came in second only to DC's "Black Adam," that's all the more impressive considering the significant difference between budgets.

Fans are far from the only viewers liking this big-screen outing. Critics equally enjoyed seeing this franchise's latest feature film; as of late 2022, the film is certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with a 94% score. A major aspect that both sectors are keying in on is the refreshing updates to a long-running series.

Director Gorō Taniguchi is now going on record about his work on the project. He's delving into the behind-the-scenes aspects that have excited fans and newcomers alike.

Gorō Taniguchi had his doubts eased by an important source

Gorō Taniguchi came to "One Piece Film: Red" after several attempts to bring him on board. For the director, it all came down to one person — Eiichiro Oda. Taniguchi told Den of Geek it was essential that Oda, the creator of "One Piece," wanted him on the project. Getting a yes was key to the director easing his fears about helming the project.

Having the ok from Oda also meant Taniguchi could begin reimaging an established franchise. To do so would mean confronting every part of the long-running manga and series; namely, it was essential that Taniguchi look at the changing landscape since the debut of "One Piece" 23 years ago. "What that means is that there are certain rules of specific productions, business models, and even the technical aspects in the pipeline that were set in motion 23 years ago," he said during the interview. "But may not apply anymore or are now obsolete in our current day.

The director also sought to bring an update to how the entire "One Piece" team approached development and production. For Taniguchi, it hinged on generational approaches to filmmaking, many of which have changed over time. Much of that can be seen in the thrilling pop culture sensation that is the current project.