Dragonball: Evolution Actor Apologizes After Toriyama's Death
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The Actor Portraying Live-Action Goku Pays Homage To Akira Toriyama By Expressing Remorse For Dragonball: Evolution.

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BY March 15, 2024

Regarding bringing anime to life on the big screen, Dragonball: Evolution shares a notorious reputation with M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender. Justin Chatwin, who portrayed Goku in the film, acknowledges its infamous status. He has even apologised to Dragon Ball Z creator Akira Toriyama, particularly after Toriyama’s unexpected passing at the age of 68.

“Rest in peace, brother. And sorry we messed up that adaptation so badly,”  Chatwin penned in an Instagram post.

Dragonball: Evolution Actor Apologizes After Toriyama’s Death

Following the news of Toriyama’s passing, Chatwin’s message was among the many heartfelt tributes shared by creators across various platforms. While others paid homage to Toriyama’s legacy, Chatwin’s apology stood out, especially considering Toriyama’s own assessment of the film as not true to the essence of Dragon Ball.

Dragonball: Evolution, released in 2009, faced harsh criticism from both fans and critics. Filmed in an abandoned jeans factory, the movie significantly deviated from the original story, such as depicting Goku attending high school.

In the review then, they noted, “Right off the bat, hardcore fans will undoubtedly find things to pick apart with the adaptation, arguing that there’s simply no way the movie could match the original anime. And you’re right. It doesn’t. And, really, what live-action movie ever could?”

Over the years, Dragonball: Evolution has earned a notorious place in the Dragon Ball franchise’s history. Surprisingly, Chatwin isn’t the first creator to express regret over it. Screenwriter Ben Ramsey had previously apologized to fans in 2016, acknowledging that the film represented a difficult creative period in his life.

“I went into the project chasing after a big payday. Not as a fan of the franchise but as a businessman taking on an assignment. I have learned that when you go into a creative endeavor without passion you come out with sub-optimal results, and sometimes flat out garbage,” Ramsey wrote at the time.

Despite the disappointment of Dragonball: Evolution, Akira Toriyama’s legacy remains rich with positive contributions. His creations, such as Dragon Quest, Chrono Trigger, and Dr. Slump, are testaments to his creative genius. Today, Toriyama is celebrated as both a trailblazer in shonen manga and anime and a legendary figure in the world of JRPGs.

If you’re eager to explore Toriyama’s creations further, Toonami is organizing a marathon dedicated to his work. Additionally, you can browse our compilation of the greatest shonen anime ever, in which Dragon Ball unsurprisingly holds a significant spot.

Featured Image Via 20th Century Fox


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