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Dragonball: Evolution in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Dragonball: Evolution

Justin Chatwin • Chow Yun-Fat • James Marsters • Emmy Rossum • Jamie Chung
DIRECTOR: James Wong

Justin Chatwin as Goku and Emmy Rossum as Bulma THE CONCEPT:
On his 18th birthday, Goku (Chatwin) is given a Dragonball by his grandfather, which has four stars floating inside of it. He’s told that there are six more like it and the seven Dragonballs together will grant the holder a perfect wish. When his grandfather is murdered that night, Goku goes in search of Master Roshi (Yun-Fat) for help, which turns into a race to find the other six Dragonballs before the evil Lord Piccolo (Marsters), who wants to dominate the world.

U.S. RELEASE: April 10 2009, Nationwide • Rated: PG


“I got involved with Dragonball when Fox Studios asked me if I would be interested in looking at the project and they sent me the [graphic novels] and I started reading them and I thought they were incredible. And I knew I was on the right track when my kids started stealing them away from me and reading them instead of going to sleep.”

Justin Chatwin and his hair“The first question that I asked James was, ‘What are we going to do with Goku’s hair?’ All these animes have crazy hair and I asked, ‘Am I going to wear a wig?’ I think my hair has a arc of its own in this movie. I’d say, ‘Okay, this is the high school look. This is the post-Goku look. This is the journey look.’ I felt a big responsibility to the fans, so the hair was a challenge for me.”

James Marsters as Lord Piccolor“Piccolo is not a nice person, he’s not trying to make friends, but he’ll never let you down because he’s living up to his own code, and I always thought he was a really wonderful character because of that.”

Jamie Chung as Chi Chi“TV’s Samurai Girl was the perfect foundation to prepare me for the conditioning and physical challenges that 87Eleven, which is the stunt group that trained us [to fight], had for me. It was a whole different level, we’re talking about a cable show training to motion picture training, and it was very different and it required a month prior to filming, we trained every day doing physical conditioning, martial arts, wire-work and fight choreography.”

Emmy Rossum as Bulma“This movie completely kicked my ass. I had never done anything like this before. I grew up loving Jean-Claude Van Damme movies, it’s kind of embarrassing to say, and I’ve always wanted to do a film like this. I always wanted to play a tougher, more independent woman character and this was the perfect opportunity to shoot three guns, learn how to ride a motorcycle and dye part of my hair blue.”

Chow Yun-Fat as Master Roshi“During the casting of it, I really felt that the Master Roshi role needed a charismatic international star, because I thought the character really was the center of the movie that all these other characters revolved around. We decided to go after Chow Yun-Fat. I was born in Hong Kong, so I know a little bit of Chinese, but not enough, so I called my brother and said, ‘Give me some Chinese lines so I can memorize them and I can talk to Chow.’ He gave me a speech to memorize, I did, and here we are.”

MARSTERS on comparing Lord Piccolo with Spike, his role on Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
“Piccolo is less tortured than Spike. Piccolo is asexual. Spike was always confident except for his love life. That kind of mixed him up a little bit. But Piccolo does not have that side to him. He’s not male or female. But there are some of the same colors as the darker aspects of Spike, enjoying hurting people and being really angry - just take all the sex away.”

“I loved the [graphic novel] because it was a little more R rated, and the relationship between Bulma and Roshi was very funny. I think we took everything we could from it and understood that some things were going to change just by virtue of the fact that you’re a live actor playing it live action, but we tried to bring the spirit and the energy of the characters to this story.”

“The biggest challenge of this movie is that Dragonball is such a rich story with so many characters, and there are so many expectations from the fans. How do you make a movie out of this huge story and satisfy the fans and, at the same time, make a movie that people who don’t know anything about Dragonball can watch, understand and appreciate?”

“The original fans are 20 or 30 years old now. There’s a whole generation of 6 to 18 year olds that Dragonball wasn’t introduced to because they have Batman and all those other cartoons. This is for the new generation and also for the fans – I hope they like it.”

“This is a family movie, it’s aimed at eight year old kids and up. It’s not Final Destination. One of the reasons I made this movie is because of the Final Destination movies, I have kids myself and I wanted to be able to show them something I’d done. I was really excited about doing a family film.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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