One Piece Season 2 Has Cast Some Major Characters, But I’m Worried A Popular Fancast Won’t Happen On The Netflix Show After All

 Zoro, Nami and Sanji smiling on board ship in live-action One Piece.
Credit: Netflix

Nearly a year ago, the live-action adaptation of One Piece premiered to Netflix subscription holders, and the show was so popular that the streamer ordered a second season just a few weeks later. While there was a decent amount we knew about One Piece Season 2 prior to this past week, there's finally been some casting information delivered for the next episodes, including that Marvel actor David Dastmalchian is set to play Mr. 3, a high-ranking member in Baroque Works. While it is good to hear who will be playing some of Season 2’s major characters, another recent development has me worried that a popular One Piece fancast won’t happen after all despite indication of the opposite not too long ago.

Before I start talking about that, let’s go over the other people who will be joining Dastmalchian in One Piece Season 2:

  • Jazzer Jaclyn as Miss Valentine

  • Campus Johnson as Mr. 5

  • Daniel Laser as Mr. 9

  • Clive Russell as Crocus

  • Werner Coetser as Dorry

  • Brendan Murray as Brogy

  • Callum Kerr as Smoker

  • Julia Rehwald as Tashigi

  • Rob Colletti as Wapol

  • Ty Keogh as Dalton

One Piece Season 2 will be adapting the Alabasta Saga, and these are among the prominent characters who run into Monkey D. Luffy and the Straw Hat Pirates during this period, for better or worse. But there are still plenty of roles left to be cast, including heavy hitters like Tony Tony Chopper, Nico Robin, Nefertari Vivi and Crocodile. On the subject of Chopper, you can’t tell his story without also casting Dr. Kureha, the Human-Human Fruit-eating reindeer’s adoptive mother who trained him in medical science.

Jamie Lee Curtis has long been a popular choice to play Dr. Kureha in the live-action One Piece, but unlike a lot of fancasts, this one stood an actual chance of happening. Curtis is a fan of the One Piece anime, and last September, she said on social media that she would “lobby” with fans to play Kureha in the Netflix series once the SAG-AFTRA strike was over. Then in early October, co-showrunner Matt Owens said he and his team were “trying to manifest” bringing her aboard, making it seem as though all sorts of hoops would be jumped through to make this a reality.

Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween
Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween

Here’s the problem: earlier this week, it was announced that Freaky Friday 2 is filming, with Curtis reprising Tess Coleman opposite Lindsay Lohan’s Anna Coleman. While that’s great news for fans of the 2003 body-swap movie, One Piece Season 2 is set to begin production shortly. Now to be fair, Dr. Kureha isn’t a character who would be required to be around for the entire season. She’d only need to be around for the portion that introduces Chopper, which I suspect will only take up two episodes.

Nevertheless, there’s now a clear scheduling conflict, and it’s hard to believe that Jamie Lee Curtis will be able to do both Freaky Friday 2 and One Piece. The former is going to keep her busy for at least several months, and by the time she’s done, the latter’s second season could be done shooting the Drum Island portion of the Alabasta arc. Maybe there’s it won’t be and that Curtis would be willing to fly out to South Africa immediately after finishing Freaky Friday 2, but that doesn’t seem likely. I also wonder if talks between Curtis and the One Piece team did end up happening, but she ended up fetching too high a price for them to be able to afford her.

I’ll be happy to be proven wrong and see Jamie Lee Curtis play Dr. Kureha in One Piece Season 2, but it’s definitely no longer a safe bet. If this first round of casting news is any indication, we should learn who’s playing the character soon, and the next season will premiere sometime in 2025.