With the acquisition of 20th Century Fox, Disney now owns the rights to the Dragon Ball franchise created by Akira Toriyama. Rumors about a new adaptation are therefore rife…
A real global phenomenon for decades, dragonball however, was never successful when it came to live-action film adaptations. There have, however, been several attempts to bring the adventures of Goku and his friends to the big screen, including Dragon Ball the Movie: The Legend of the 7 Crystal Balls (a Taiwanese production that did not own the rights to the characters) and even a Korean version to which Heo Sung-taeone of the protagonists of Squid Gametook part.
In 2009, 20th Century Fox raised public expectations with the release of Dragonball Evolution. But unfortunately the film was a failure: the fans were very disappointed with the feature film worn by Justin Chatwin and the critics were destructive of 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 do justice to the work created by Akira Toriyama in 1984 multiplied.
For some time now, the number of enthusiasts making “fan films”, then published on the net, has increased considerably and some of his films are even enjoying great success on the video platforms where they are hosted.
In 2015, the pilot episode of a web series featuring non-professional actors titled “Dragon Ball Z: Light of Hope” appeared on YouTube. Two years later, thanks to a crowdfunding campaign, the fiction had two additional chapters.
In May of this year, a fake trailer titled “Dragon Ball Movie: The Last Stand” was also released. Its goal: to show what a quality live action film could look like. Finally, the fan film “Legend: A Dragon Ball Tale”, published last month, also aroused enthusiasm, a video of about ten minutes to discover in the following article.
But the tributes to the saga do not stop there. Last November, Brazilian artist Samukarts meanwhile posted “fan art” on his official Instagram profile that imagines what it would look like Simu Liuthe protagonist of Marvel’s hit, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, transformed into Goku. And it must be admitted: the actor would be perfect for the role.
The cartoonist also has a habit of imagining well-known actors – from Dwayne Johnson at Jason Momoa Passing by Scarlett Johansson – in the skin of the cult characters of Dragon Ball, portraits to also discover on his Instagram page.
With each passing day and with new fan productions (whether in the form of a pilot, fake trailer or “fan art”), the need for Hollywood to produce more inspired content of the Dragon Ball universe is becoming more and more evident. The franchise is indeed extremely popular and would be a most interesting project to adapt.
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: it could therefore be that he does not want to see a new American production on the big screen anytime soon… It only remains to wait to see what decisions Disney will take concerning the rights, which has already resuscitated another mythical saga: that of Star Wars.
In the meantime, several options are available to you: find Goku in the cult animated series on DVD or on TV, or even, for the bravest or most curious among you, try the Dragonball Evolution experience available on Disney+: the the least we can say is that you will come out of it… changed!
Or else (re)discover Simu Liu in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (trailer below) available for streaming on Canal+.