Netflix’s take on Eiichiro Oda's pirating epic is the streamer’s most successful anime-to-live-action adaptation to date, debuting with stellar viewership numbers and near-universal praise.
One of the show's most celebrated aspects has been its "killer cast," which is largely made up of relatively unknown actors.
This energetic ensemble has audiences salivating to see what some of these actors do next, with fans throwing these stars' names in the ring for every major franchise in Hollywood they can, paramount of which is the MCU.
Who Could the One Piece Cast Play In the MCU?
Iñaki Godoy (Luffy) - Nightcrawler
One Piece star (and primary protagonist) Iñaki Godoy feels like a natural fit for the MCU, especially as the franchise ventures into the world of the X-Men. If Godoy were to catch the franchise's eye for a role as one of Marvel's iconic mutants, Nightcrawler feels like the obvious pick for the charismatic, young actor.
While Godoy played the lovable 'heart-on-his-sleeve at all times' Luffy in One Piece, taking on the teleporting X-Men member could be a great opportunity for the star to show his emotional versatility as an actor, as he explores the complicated nature of a Marvel mutant story.
Plus, he is the perfect age at only 20 years old. Even if Marvel waits about five years or so to introduce the X-Men-proper to the MCU (via the rumored The Mutants project), he would still be right in that prime age range to play one of the young heroes on Charles Xavier's team.
Emily Rudd (Nami) - Spider-Gwen
Nami star Emily Rudd feels born to play a live-action version of Spider-Gwen. Since the release of Netflix's One Piece, Rudd has been thrust into the spotlight after playing the iconic Straw Hat navigator.
Rudd's One Piece character basically exhibited all the qualities that make Spider-Gwen/Gwen Stacy so beloved among fans. She can hold her own in a fight, she is endlessly charismatic, but - as described by One Piece director Marc Jobst - "she has so much depth to her."
And it is this depth that is key. Rudd can deliver a quippy one-liner the web-head is known for just as well as she can deliver emotionally charged, stirring character moments.
Mackenyu (Zoro) - Cyclops
In One Piece, Mackenyu plays the stoic, by-the-book swordsman Roranoa Zoro. Zoro is cold, calculating, and serves as the voice of reason amongst the rest of the Straw Hats, which is why he would be the perfect choice to play Scott Summers (aka Cyclops) in the MCU.
The pseudo-leader (at least that is how he sees it) of Marvel's X-Men is most of the time used as the ying to the firecracker that is Wolverine's yang, which feels like something Mackenyu has sort of already done.
Zoro and Cyclops feel like very similar characters, they are both natural-born leaders with layers of conflict hidden underneath their brave face exterior. On top of that, Mackenyu's take on the hero would be wholly different from what fans have ever seen on-screen, being immensely more badass than James Marsden and Tye Sheridan.
Taz Skylar (Sanji) - Johnny Storm
Fantastic Four fan-casts are old hat at this point, but it is time to have a serious conversation about Taz Skylar as Johnny Storm. Skylar played the Straw Hat chef Sanji, winning fans over with his debonair presence and incredible ability to talk his way out of any situation. Sound like anyone?
Taz Skylar feels ready-made to play Johnny Storm/the Human Torch. Just like the Fantastic Four hot-head, Skylar's Sanji proved he is a force to be reckoned with in a fight, and no matter what is the coolest person in the room.
The Sanji actor has also shown that he can work within that group dynamic that is going to be so integral to being a part of the MCU's take on Marvel's First Family. Just sign him up, Kevin Feige. He is ready to flame on!
Jacob Romero (Usopp) - Speedball
Jacob Romero's MCU fan cast is a bit of a deep-cut, but one that works perfectly, as the Usopp actor should play Marvel Studios' Speedball. In One Piece, Usopp is the Straw Hats' lovable oaf. He is kooky, a bit of a coward, and has a propensity for stretching the truth in hilarious fashion, making his actor primed to play a hero like Speedball.
In the comics, Robbie Baldwin (aka Speedball) is one of Marvel's sillier contemporary heroes. The character is best known for his (admittedly goofy) ability to produce energy-infused orbs (balls), a detail that could be played for laughs on the screen under the tutelage of Marvel Studios.
While it seems unlikely a Romero-led Speedball movie would ever happen, the character would work incredibly well in one of the MCU's more comedy-heavy, making sense in projects like Deadpool 3, She-Hulk Season 2 (if it is greenlit), or Wonder Man.
Vincent Regan (Garp) - Cable
Coming off of playing One Piece's Garp, Vincent Regan could do a pretty bang-up job of playing Marvel anti-hero Cable. The time-traveling mutant was previously seen in Deadpool 2 (played by Thanos actor Josh Brolin), but should Marvel Studios want to bring the character back for the MCU proper, Regan would nail it.
Regan's Garp (just like Cable) is just as physically intimidating as he is mentally, always being three or four steps ahead of his prey (aka the Straw Hats) and ready to pound on anyone who gets in his way.
But what makes Regan most fit to play Cable is the actor's ability to play both hero and villain. After chasing the Straw Hats across the open seas, he actually lets them go in Season 1 of the Netflix series. It is this 'Is he good? Is he bad?' quality is a must for any take on Cable and could be a morally interesting puzzle piece to introduce into the MCU.
Peter Gadiot (Shanks) - Gambit
If/when Marvel Studios ever wants to introduce Gambit into the MCU, the Hollywood giant would be smart to give Peter Gadiot a call. Gadiot made waves in Netflix's One Piece series as the cooler-than-cool Shanks. Shanks is (for lack of a better term) Luffy's mentor, giving him the inspiration to become the notorious pirate captain he becomes.
Ever since his debut back in 1990, Gambit/Remy LeBeau has exuded cool. The card-wielding mutant is best known for his (as the Marvel Comics wiki describes it) "hypnotic charm," something Gadiot's Shanks has in spades.
While Marvel will likely go younger for most of its X-Men characters, should the studio want to go with an older Gambit as a bit of an ancillary mutant, Gadiot would be a natural choice for the role (sorry, Channing Tatum).
One Piece Season 1 is now streaming on Netflix.