One Piece's Dr. Kureha next to an image of Jamie Lee Curtis.

Jamie Lee Curtis Wants to Play Kureha in the Live-Action ‘One Piece,’ and This Must Happen!

We deserve nice things.

UPDATE 9/24/23: It looks like the team behind Netflix’s One Piece adaptation is as eager to have Jamie Lee Curtis on board as we are! Curtis, who has previously lobbied for the role of Dr. Kureha, recently posted an Instagram, “ONCE the STRIKE against the greed of the AMTPT is SETTLED with a FAIR CONTRACT, I will lobby along with the growing fan frenzy to become Doctor Kureha in @onepiecenetflix.”

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One Piece co-showrunner Matt Owens wrote in her replies, “Mommy dearest, that’s why we sent you that figure! No need to lobby. Once we get what we deserve and get back to work let’s talk!” I mean, what a match made in Heaven. Just look at Curtis snuggling this plushy of Tony Tony Chopper!

There are many things one does and does not expect from the Oscars. Definitely in the “do not expect” column is “impassioned talk about One Piece on the Red Carpet,” and yet, Tiktoker Straw_Hat_Goofy made it happen when he found known One Piece fan Jamie Lee Curtis. With Netflix’s live-action adaptation already filming, the two discussed what role Curtis would want to play, and she had a brilliant idea: Dr. Kureha.

One Piece is a 25-years-long-and-counting manga series by Eiichiro Oda (with a nearly equally long-running anime series), detailing the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy and the Straw Hat Pirates as Luffy aspires to become Pirate King. Netflix’s 10-episode live-action series will adapt the East Blue saga, in which Luffy finds his first four crew members. Dr. Kureha enters the stage in the following story arc, the Alabasta saga. In other words, if Netflix’s One Piece is decent enough to be renewed for season two, the casting of Kureha is actually a relevant decision. Then again, Netflix’s most recent live-action anime adaptation, Cowboy Bebop, fell on its face after just one season, so a second one for One Piece is far from guaranteed.

But suppose, by some miracle, Netflix’s One Piece is good—or at least fine, earning itself a second season. Casting Curtis as Kureha would truly be a stroke of brilliance. Kureha is a 139-years-young haughty doctor with a short temper and secretly big heart. She wears crop tops, bell bottoms, and sunglasses in a place where it’s always winter. She has a bellybutton ring. She’s usually carrying a bottle of alcohol, for funsies. In other words, Curtis—who is very good at playing “sassy”—is freaking perfect for the role. Plus, no major celebrities are currently attached to the series. I would like for exactly one to be attached, and, as a badass tour de force, I would like Kureha to be the role that gets The Name. Please.

Last year, when asked on a Comic Con panel what character of any TV show she would most want to be, Curtis unflinchingly replied Nico Robin, also of One Piece. However, on the Red Carpet, Curtis admitted she’s probably too old to play the 29-year-old Robin, but she also added that her favorite character is Tony Tony Chopper. (Chopper fam, ASSEMBLE!) Since Kureha is introduced as Chopper’s mentor and adoptive caregiver, Curtis as Kureha becomes even more perfect.

In the words of Jamie Lee Curtis herself, if she can watch all of One Piece, so can you! It feels very nice that those of us in the One Piece community can now enter mainstream American cultural discourse by saying, “Well, Jamie Lee Curtis thinks you should watch it.”

(featured image: Toei Animation, 20th Television)

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Image of Kirsten Carey
Kirsten Carey
Kirsten (she/her) is a contributing writer at the Mary Sue specializing in anime and gaming. In the last decade, she's also written for Channel Frederator (and its offshoots), Screen Rant, and more. In the other half of her professional life, she's also a musician, which includes leading a very weird rock band named Throwaway. When not talking about One Piece or The Legend of Zelda, she's talking about her cats, Momo and Jimbei.