With the acquisition of 20th Century Fox, Disney now owns the rights to the Dragon Ball franchise created by Akira Toriyama. Hence the rumors of a new adaptation…
A true global phenomenon for decades, Dragon Ball has never been successful in terms of live-action film adaptations. However, there have been several attempts to bring the adventures of Goku and his friends to the big screen, including Dragon Ball The Movie: Legend of the 7 Crystal Balls (a Taiwanese production that did not own the rights to the characters) and even a Korean version starring Heo Sung-tae, One of the heroes of Squid Game.
In 2009, 20th Century Fox raised public expectations with the release of Dragonball Evolution. But, unfortunately, the film turned out to be a failure: fans were very disappointed with Justin Chatwin’s feature film, and critics were destructive about the final result.
But now that the studio has been taken over by the almighty Disney, rumors of a new live-action adaptation that would finally live up to Akira’s creations have surfaced. Toriyama in 1984 reproduction.
For some time now, there has been a significant increase in the number of enthusiasts making “fan films”, then published on the web, and some of his films are even enjoying great success on the video platforms where they are hosted.
In 2015, a pilot episode of a web series featuring non-professional actors called “Dragon Ball Z: Light of Hope” appeared on YouTube. Two years later, thanks to a crowdfunding campaign, the fiction had two additional chapters.
A fake trailer titled “Dragon Ball Movie: The Last Stand” was also released in May this year. Its purpose: to show what a quality live action movie can be. Finally, the fan film “Legend: A Tale of the Dragon Ball” released last month has also generated enthusiasm, with about ten minutes of video to be discovered in the following article.
But the tribute to Saga does not end there. Last November, Brazilian artist Samukarts posted a fan art on his official Instagram profile that imagines what Simu Liu, hero of the Marvel hit Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings, would look like transformed into Goku. And we have to admit: the actor would be perfect for this role.
The designer also has a habit of imagining famous actors – from Dwayne Johnson to Jason Momoa through Scarlett Johansson – in the shoes of the iconic characters of Dragon Ball, portraits can also be found on his Instagram page.
With each passing day and new fan productions (in the form of pilots, fake trailers, or “fan art”), the need for Hollywood to produce more inspired content from the Dragon Ball universe is becoming more and more apparent. The franchise is really very popular and will be the most interesting project to adapt.
Despite all the rumors, the only actor who has spoken on the subject is Dylan O’Brien, who said during an interview that he wants to play the main character of Dragon Ball Z in the anime remake.
However, it should be remembered that the creator of the cult manga was also disappointed with the result when Dragonball Evolution saw the light of day: he may not want to see the new American production on the big screen anytime soon… It remains to be seen what decisions Disney will make regarding the rights, which has already revived another mythical saga: Star Wars.
In the meantime, there are several options available to you: find Goku in the iconic animated series on DVD or TV, or even, for the bravest or most curious among you, try the Dragonball Evolution experience available on Disney+: as little as possible. Say you’ll come out… Changed!
Or even (re)discover Simu Liu in Shang-Chi and Legend of the Ten Rings (trailer below) are available to stream on Canal+.