When it comes to live-action anime, Hollywood has a less than stellar reputation. The U.S. has tried to tackle anime time and again with varying results, but no project smarted as much as Dragonball Evolution.
In fact, the Dragon Ball fandom is happy to never speak of the film, but it seems one man didn’t catch the memo. Kazuhiko Torishima just did an interview about his time with Dragon Ball, and it was there the editor revealed why the live-action film became a hot mess.
As reported by Twitter user Ochimusha108, Biglobe JP chatted with Torishima about his work as a manga editor. The creator worked closely with Akira Toriyama during the golden days of Dragon Ball, and he says he was as blindsided by the monstrosity of Dragonball Evolution as fans were.
As summarized by Ochimusha108, Torishima “wanted to know why they allowed it to happen and in discussing the matter with Hollywood lawyers, he discovered that for the original rights holder to tell a production company 'yes' or 'no' in the production process, it requires an investment of 45 million dollars.”
“He went on to describe that even had he known this at the time, he wouldn't have been able to acquiesce to such a deal given the price. However, now, armed with the knowledge of past failures he would essentially do so in a heartbeat if it meant success.”
By this account, it turns out that Toriyama and Shueisha weren’t given as much control of Dragonball Evolution has fans wanted. The film, which Brett Ratner produced, was overseen by three production companies and distributed by 20th Century Fox. However, as Torishima explained, the original rights holder of Dragon Ball (i.e. Toriyama) could not sign off on anything about the film unless a $45 million investment was made on his behalf.
Not only did Torishima say he was never made aware of this clause, but it was not one he could have agreed to. Knowing how Dragonball Evolution turned out, the editor says he’d pony up the cash ASAP if given the chance, but the damage has already been done. The reported clause kept this 20th Century Fox flick from ushering in an era of live-action anime, and fans are wondering if Dragon Ball could ever return to Hollywood given how badly its creators were burned the first time around.
So, are you surprised by this new Dragonball Evolution reveal? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!
Dragon Ball Super: Broly is now available on Blu-ray and DVD, and you can read ComicBook.com's spoiler-free review of the film here. The film is described as such, "A planet destroyed, a powerful race reduced to nothing. After the devastation of Planet Vegeta, three Saiyans were scattered among the stars, destined for different fates. While two found a home on Earth, the third was raised with a burning desire for vengeance and developed an unbelievable power."