Dragon Ball in Hollywood. What could've been...

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Dragon Ball in Hollywood. What could've been...

Post by fogdark » Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:38 am

So, yesterday, the 3rd trailer for the Superman movie, Man of Steel, was released. Superman and Batman are the only superheroes from comics I follow, not so much in comics, but in movies and TV series, so I'm pretty excited about this movie. Anyways, so far, Man of Steel had not shown too much action on the previous trailers, but all that changed on this, the 3rd one.

The second half of the trailer is filled with super quick shots of Superman doing incredible stuff, and in the end, we get this awesome quick shot of Superman punching apparently the main bad guy, General Zod several times as they fly through the air ....sound familiar? It's this last shot that suddenly made remember Dragon Ball.
Seeing Superman move, fight, and all of that, made realized what Dragon Ball Evolution could have been. The technology, great actors, and great script writers exist in Hollywood. People who don't mind being on a Superhero movie and giving it their best and capable of creating a great live action Dragon ball film. I honestly believe that. In what I've seen from Man of Steel ,you can feel a sense of respect towards this character, and that they really cared about showing a Superman that resonates not only with the general movie-goers, but also with the fans.
I feel that's what lacked in Dragon Ball Evolution, respect for the original source material. They changed the entire story in the script, the actors were either bad, or good but only in there for the money. They were not looking to make a good Dragon Ball film, they just wanted to make easy money out of all the Dragon Ball fans around the world.

So now I'm excited to see Man of Steel. A film that while it looks like it'll be spectacular to the general audience, it also feels like the first time Superman will be portrait in a faithful manner. And meanwhile, I keep thinking of Dragon Ball. Of it's adventure in Hollywood, and of what could've been...

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Re: Dragon Ball in Hollywood. What could've been...

Post by rereboy » Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:05 am

Man of Steel - Budget: $225,000,000 (estimated)

Dragon Ball Evolution - Budget: $45.000.000 (estimated)

When they make a Dragon Ball movie with that kind of budget, then it might have action scenes that are that impressive. Of course, we can't really blame its plot on the budget :lol:

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Re: Dragon Ball in Hollywood. What could've been...

Post by Blade » Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:10 am

A look back to The Matrix trilogy demonstrates how Dragonball-style fighting could be done, and done well too.

Dragonball's portrayal in Hollywood was never going to be that or anything else other than a failure. It was a low budget, hack-job of a project that was tossed around from would-be director to director for years in development hell before eventually being made into what it is today. I think in the end Fox just wanted to release something to justify acquiring the rights to make the film. What was originally going to be a $100 Million film was eventually done for less than $30 Million. Go figure.
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Re: Dragon Ball in Hollywood. What could've been...

Post by TheBlackPaladin » Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:10 am

I actually think the closest thing in a Hollywood movie that I've seen to a "Dragon Ball"-style fight was the last fight in the movie, "Chronicle." And that movie was done on a (by Hollywood standards) nearly non-existent budget of 12 million.

With "Evolution," they all but completely disregarded the source material, with only names and vaguely similar concepts making it through to the final product. In the end, I couldn't help but wonder why this movie was made. Why was it made so late? Who was it supposed to appeal to? Why did the studio bother to make a "Dragon Ball" movie that had so little to do with "Dragon Ball"? Why did they not just make their own story, in effect saving money and time?

......I'm sorry to say, but there simply wasn't much logic in the production of "Evolution," and that's typical of the Hollywood studio system.
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"To think of fighting that is this fun...so, it was pleasant fight, as many as, therefore is a feeling which is good the fight where."

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Re: Dragon Ball in Hollywood. What could've been...

Post by Blade » Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:11 am

TheBlackPaladin wrote:I actually think the closest thing in a Hollywood movie that I've seen to a "Dragon Ball"-style fight was the last fight in the movie, "Chronicle." And that movie was done on a (by Hollywood standards) nearly non-existent budget of 12 million.

With "Evolution," they all but completely disregarded the source material, with only names and vaguely similar concepts making it through to the final product. In the end, I couldn't help but wonder why this movie was made. Why was it made so late? Who was it supposed to appeal to? Why did the studio bother to make a "Dragon Ball" movie that had so little to do with "Dragon Ball"? Why did they not just make their own story, in effect saving money and time?

......I'm sorry to say, but there simply wasn't much logic in the production of "Evolution," and that's typical of the Hollywood studio system.
I'm inclined to disagree. I think if anything they tried too hard to incorporate too much of the source material within the format they went for. Essentially we ended up with a rushed, perplexing and ham-fisted re-telling of the entire of Dragonball crossed over with a high-school karate flick set in a contemporary Western world setting.

I'd argue that it tried to do too much and tick too many boxes in the hope of transliterating Dragonball to a Western audience, when in reality the only audience they were ever going to sell tickets to were the ones who were already well acquainted with it. Throw in Ben Ramsey's piss-poor screenplay, unenthusiastic direction from Wong, bad acting and a slashed budget and the result is Dragonball Evolution.
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Re: Dragon Ball in Hollywood. What could've been...

Post by Baggie_Saiyan » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:47 am

even with a decent budget I can't see hollywood making a decent DB(Z) film

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Re: Dragon Ball in Hollywood. What could've been...

Post by Blade » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:43 am

Baggie_Saiyan wrote:even with a decent budget I can't see hollywood making a decent DB(Z) film
There wont be another Hollywood Dragonball film.

I think a large budget isn't the most prohibitive factor in determining if a live action Dragonball adaptation will work or not, I would instead suggest that the angle of portrayal is the most vital.

Take Lord of The Rings for example: the film adaptation doesn't try to relocate wholesale elements of the plot into a different format or context as Dragonball Evolution does. Middle Earth is portrayed as being Middle Earth, Hobbits are portrayed as being Hobbits, Dwarves as Dwarves etc. To understand the film we as an audience have to suspend our disbelief more than usual to grasp these alien concepts and immerse ourselves willingly into the fantasy setting as to engage with the storytelling. The problem with Dragonball Evolution is that it wasn't willing to portray Dragonball as Dragonball, but instead migrate certain elements of into within a setting that they deemed people would better understand and identify with as a tabula rasa for Dragonball. Consequently the pieces of Dragonball that were alienated from their natural environment failed to adhere to the new setting, which in turn alienated film-goers whose base reference point (the setting) was filled with elements that were totally non sequitur.
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Re: Dragon Ball in Hollywood. What could've been...

Post by Xyex » Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:21 pm

TheBlackPaladin wrote:I actually think the closest thing in a Hollywood movie that I've seen to a "Dragon Ball"-style fight was the last fight in the movie, "Chronicle." And that movie was done on a (by Hollywood standards) nearly non-existent budget of 12 million.
I just saw that movie recently, and during all of the flying and fighting at the end, I couldn't help but picture it as a DBZ battle. That movie and others have all indivdually done everything a DBZ movie has to do, so we know it can be done. We just need someone to put it all together into one movie, with a decent plot, without a bunch of weird changes to the series basics, and we'd have something good.
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Re: Dragon Ball in Hollywood. What could've been...

Post by soulnova » Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:46 pm

TheBlackPaladin wrote:I actually think the closest thing in a Hollywood movie that I've seen to a "Dragon Ball"-style fight was the last fight in the movie, "Chronicle." And that movie was done on a (by Hollywood standards) nearly non-existent budget of 12 million.

I know, right!? My BF kind of dragged me along because I didn't want to see teens with "psychic powers or something". I thought it was going to be very cheesy but was gladly surprised. And then... they start flying. Good god. I was suddenly filled with joy. "This. This is how a Live Action Dragon Ball Z should show flying." I looked in awe at that 2-3 scene and it almost brought a tear to my eyes.

And then the last fight. Wow, they just needed some aura and that was it. Perfect. Just like Xyex said above, it can be done.
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Re: Dragon Ball in Hollywood. What could've been...

Post by MysticShadow496 » Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:50 pm

Another movie based on Dragon Ball would be fantastic if any Hollywood-type company gave the series the respect it deserves after all these years. A big budget isn't really needed, all that is needed is someone who actually cares about the story and characters. An original story based on the characters would be great and they wouldn't even have to match the crazy story that is our beloved Dragon Ball. Create a new villain in a new scenario and BOOM! something good could come out of all the work.

...I thought Chronicle was a very entertaining movie

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Re: Dragon Ball in Hollywood. What could've been...

Post by TheBlackPaladin » Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:06 pm

I LOVED "Chronicle"! I'm hunting down info about the the sequel all the time, but that's off-topic.

Anyways. Other movies have done similar, DBZ-esque fight scenes. The final battle in "Matrix Revolutions," also comes to mind. The reason I bring up "Chronicle," though, is because it's proof that a DBZ-esque fight scene can be done even on a non-existent budget. For clarification's sake, when I say that the budget was 12 million, I mean for the whole movie. Meaning that that last fight scene cost even less. Fights like that cannot only be done, but done on a limited budget.

On the off-chance that they decide to give it another shot, I think what they should do--and what they should have done--is make a "Dragon Ball" movie first.

1) Establish the characters and their personalities. Get us to like them.
2) Make it mostly character-driven since, save a few fights, the fight scenes in "Dragon Ball" don't quite approach the craziness-levels of DBZ.
3) Once we have a cast of likeable characters, going on a fun, funny, engaging, and emotional adventure--which can absolutely be done on a smaller budget--that would allow the movie to make a better profit.
4) That, in turn, would justify a bigger budget for the next movie to make the over-the-top fight scenes in DBZ more doable.

Alas...that's not what happened. To quote Chris Sabat, "They had so much material to work with and they came up with THAT." Some respect for the source material, and a willingness to adapt what was actually in the manga...and releasing the movie back in 2003 when the franchise was at its peak popularity...would have gone a long way.
A "rather haggard" translation of a line from Future Gohan in DBZ, provided to FUNimation by Toei:
"To think of fighting that is this fun...so, it was pleasant fight, as many as, therefore is a feeling which is good the fight where."

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Re: Dragon Ball in Hollywood. What could've been...

Post by Hellspawn28 » Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:23 pm

Blade wrote:
Baggie_Saiyan wrote:even with a decent budget I can't see hollywood making a decent DB(Z) film
There wont be another Hollywood Dragonball film.
Yeah since I think most studios in the US wouldn't touch Dragon Ball with a ten foot pole after DBE bombed. Maybe in the near future, we could get another one but I don't think most people in Hollywood are fans of the franchise.
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Re: Dragon Ball in Hollywood. What could've been...

Post by Blade » Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:36 pm

Hellspawn28 wrote:
Blade wrote:
Baggie_Saiyan wrote:even with a decent budget I can't see hollywood making a decent DB(Z) film
There wont be another Hollywood Dragonball film.
Yeah since I think most studios in the US wouldn't touch Dragon Ball with a ten foot pole after DBE bombed. Maybe in the near future, we could get another one but I don't think most people in Hollywood are fans of the franchise.
If another live action adaptation ever comes to fruition it will probably be done by the Japanese film industry. However, the fact that they haven't made one yet and didn't make one during the height of Dragonball Z's success suggests that it's never really been regarded as being a viable project.
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Re: Dragon Ball in Hollywood. What could've been...

Post by AgitoZ » Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:49 pm

What is this "Chronicle" you all speak of? I thought it was agreed that Shaolin Soccer is the closest we ever got to a true live-action Dragon Ball. All the aesthetics a live-action adaptation needs is that of a wuxia film and its golden.
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Re: Dragon Ball in Hollywood. What could've been...

Post by rereboy » Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:53 pm

AgitoZ wrote:What is this "Chronicle" you all speak of? I thought it was agreed that Shaolin Soccer is the closest we ever got to a true live-action Dragon Ball. All the aesthetics a live-action adaptation needs is that of a wuxia film and its golden.
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Re: Dragon Ball in Hollywood. What could've been...

Post by TheBlackPaladin » Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:10 pm

AgitoZ wrote:What is this "Chronicle" you all speak of?
An excellent movie (in my opinion, of course)!

However, if it's not too late, don't watch the trailer. In my opinion, it's a movie that you can enjoy the most if you go into it without any expectation or idea of what it's about. I'm a tad biased because that's how I saw the movie, so I was genuinely suprised and intrigued when it went in a direction I didn't expect about 15 minutes into the movie...but then again, between the fact that the trailer's already been posted (not at all blaming you though, rereboy) and that we've already talked about "the last fight"...on a "Dragon Ball" forum...chances are you already have a reasonably good idea of what kinds of things to expect.

Keep it as vague as possible, though.
A "rather haggard" translation of a line from Future Gohan in DBZ, provided to FUNimation by Toei:
"To think of fighting that is this fun...so, it was pleasant fight, as many as, therefore is a feeling which is good the fight where."

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Re: Dragon Ball in Hollywood. What could've been...

Post by Saiyan Prince Vegeta » Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:24 pm

They should have tooken some of Toriyama's suggestions when they were making DBE. They should take another crack at making a movie, and ask Toriyama to work his magic this time. :P

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Re: Dragon Ball in Hollywood. What could've been...

Post by WesMan23 » Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:22 pm

I think it could be possible, given that Fox loses the rights to a company with passion for the source material. I love Dragonball, but that movie, it left a very bad taste in my mouth, and it didn't "feel" like Dragonball, if that makes sense. It didn't have that sense of wonder, or adventure. Goku was not Goku. He was a teenager with an improbable hairstyle, a similar outfit towards the end, and ki attacks, who just happened to be named Goku, but the characterization was completely wrong. I'd hate to see what they would do with Vegeta. Instead of making him a Saiya-Jin prince with a rough past, they'd make him a leader of the remnants of an Earth-based renegade group, somehow "gifted" with special abilities, who forgot somehow that he was an alien, maybe taking a piece of Goku's past with a head injury, or something dumb like that. Don't even get me started on how Freeza would be interpreted, but it would certainly be the stuff of nightmares, and not in a good way.

I'm sure many of you have seen The Forbidden Kingdom with Jet Li and Jackie Chan. Decent movie in its own right, borrowing heavily from Journey to the West, which we all know, Dragonball is also based on. Jet Li plays The Monkey King/Sun Wukong. Basically the early idea of Goku. There's a scene in the film where he fights against a character called the Jade Warlord, using a weapon not unlike nyoi-bo. The Warlord uses energy attacks against the Monkey King, but the Monkey King is very playful as he fights. I definitely got a Son Goku vibe from the way he acted, a very carefree, playful person, but also a very skilled fighter. It just had that Dragonball feel to it. If a part of a movie like that can feel like Dragonball somewhat, which came out almost exactly one year prior to Evolution, then it should've been able to capture the feeling as well. It wasn't even great on its own merits.

Basically, what I'm trying to say, is if you get the right talent together, with true passion for the source material (like James Marsters had, he had a lot of respect for it), then I certainly think the movie could be done. Will it be perfect? Of course not. Some liberties might have to be taken. But if they follow it closely enough to draw the fans in, then I think it will be successful. Not everybody will like it, but that's with any movie. But as long as they don't make "Goku" an angst-ridden teen who is the incarnation of Oozaru or whatever, and a geeky high-school student, then it'll be good. Make the character actually be Goku. Make him crass, uneducated, somewhat hick-like without being offensive about it. Give him that "raised in the woods, naive, innocent and friendly" personality. They can do the hair realistically enough through CGI if they have to, all the actor has to do is wear one of those hats made for CG motion capture. Just make him GOKU! Not Emoku, or Goku-Lite. That was just one of the biggest things wrong with the movie, is that they totally screwed up, not just the character, but the entire idea of the character, to an early FUNi level, if not worse.
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Re: Dragon Ball in Hollywood. What could've been...

Post by fogdark » Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:23 pm

I think the only way we'll ever see a faithful adaptation of Dragon Ball in a live action, would be if it was made in Japan, by Japanese. And if it works there, then there could be a chance of a revival in Hollywood, which I don't know if I'd be too happy if that happened.
I remember the Rurouni Kenshin movie, it was produced by WB Japan, I believe, so a similar thing could happen with Dragon Ball.
As things stand right now, a new Dragon Ball movie made in Hollywood would be a very difficult thing, if not impossible. And I'm not too saddened by that :lol:
Still, if only true fans could have the same resources movies like Man Of Steel, and yes, Chronicle too, I do believe a Dragon Ball faithful to the original could be made, and it could be quite good...
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Re: Dragon Ball in Hollywood. What could've been...

Post by Hellspawn28 » Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:51 pm

I agree that the Japanese are better at handling movies based on anime and manga better. The US has a bad track record when it comes to movies and shows based on popular Japanese franchises. For example:

The Guyver: Fail

Power Rangers: Debatable

VR Troopers: Meh

Guyver 2: Meh

Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad: Meh

Fist of the North Star: Fail

Ultraman - The Ultimate Hero: Fail

Saban's Masked Rider: Fail

Crying Freeman: Fail

Big Bad Beetleborgs: Alright (It been years since I watched it)

Godzilla (1998): Fail

Speed Racer: Fail

Dragonball Evolution: Fail

Kamen Rider - Dragon Knight: Meh

Astro Boy: Meh

Let's see how the Old Boy remake and the upcoming Godzilla movie turns out.
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