There are a few words out there that can enrage Dragon Ball fans, but "live-action adaptation" may be at the top. The phrase can only remind otakus of the travesty that was Dragonball Evolution some years back, but one of Dragon Ball’s biggest stars says he’d like the franchise to get another live-action go one day.
During an exclusive interview with ComicBook.com, Sean Schemmel opened up about his desire for more live-action Dragon Ball. The Goku voice actor took a moment to talk about Hollywood’s newfound ability to translate fantastical comic book storylines to the big screen, and said Akira Toriyama’s story could now be done right.
“I’ve been thrilled with how we can finally make a superhero look, which would bring me to the next question of what I think about Dragonball Evolution,” the actor began.
“I’m hoping there’s a live-action version in the future someday,” Schemmel revealed. “I think it could be done. I wonder how they’re going to handle the hair, and I think the effects can be done. I think that’s not a problem anymore.”
Dragon Ball’s treatment in Hollywood sadly went the way of many pre-Iron Man comic book adaptations. Marvel Studios is largely heralded for shifting how the entertainment industry approached the vast comics industry, and Dragonball Evolution did not come in under the cut. The film wrapped production before Iron Man’s effect could ripple through the industry, so the dumbfounding adaptation is more Fantastic Four a la 2005 than Iron Man in 2008.
After learning a few hard lessons from Dragonball Evolution, Schemmel and other fans do hope Hollywood could do justice to a live-action Dragon Ball film. Toriyama’s series is one of the world’s most famous, and its popularity has only risen in recent years thanks to new anime series and video games. If Toriyama is willing to give Son Goku another shot a live-action glory, the artist may wind up with a film franchise rivaling The Avengers and Batman.