Dragonball: Evolution (live-action movie)
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James Kyson Lee auditioned for the role for Yamcha.
According to James Marsters, his role of Piccolo is a complex, Shakespearean one: "Thousands of years ago he used to be a force of good, but he was imprisoned for 2000 years, making him very angry, and then he finds a way to escape... The cool thing is anybody who's seen Dragon Ball knows that Lord Piccolo transforms into THE Piccolo, and that is a whole other ball of wax; heroic wouldn't be the wrong term, but it's a long journey."
To attain the quintessence of Dragon Ball, many of the actors were given unique hairstyles to resemble their anime counterparts (Emmy Rossum in particular was given two separate wigs for her role as Bulma, a traditional blue one as well as a never before seen pink one). Justin Chatwin, though, has no such hairdo since James Wong felt his hair resembled Goku's spiky hairstyle close enough without actually being silly.
Ron Perlman was offered the role of Piccolo, but turned it down to work on Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008) instead.
Ozaru was never Piccolo's disciple, but the true form of all Sayans, as they always "show their best form to the moon", not during a solar eclipse.
Gohan, Goku's grandfather, was not killed by Piccolo, but by Goku himself when he turned into Ozaru one night.
In the original story, when Goku first meets Bulma, Goku was just 10 years old, a stupid little fellow, and had no idea whatsoever about girls, since he used to live in the mountains with only his grandfather his whole life.
It's been long rumored about Christ Sabat making a cameo as the voice of Shenron for this movie. However Older Gohan's English voice actor Kyle Hebert confirmed it to be a hoax when Sabat told him he wasn't ever involved with the movie.
The film was mostly shot in an abandoned jeans factory in Durango, Mexico with blue and green screens.
In 2002, George Lucas was considered to direct the film.
The monks are seen to be of Indian origin, as they use the Hindi greeting "Namaste" and use a Hindi chant to generate the Mafuba.
In the scene where Piccolo destroys the city was actually footage of a hospital getting destroyed from "Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem" (2007).
You only see Master Roshi wear shades in one scene when in the anime he's rarely seen without his shades on.
This wasn't screened for critics.
In the Japanese version, Hisao Egawa and Mami Koyama are the only actors who have previously provided voice work in a Dragonball anime. While Aya Hirano would later become the new voice of Dende for Dragonball Z Kai.
Luis Arrieta filmed all his scenes in one day.
Chris Sabat who is a prolific actor for the Dragon Ball English Dub stated he was very disappointed after watching this movie.
According to Yun-Fat Chow, he wore contact lenses during his performance as Roshi in preparation for the (at the time announced) sequel, where his appearance would be bald and bespectacled, a more classic appearance of Roshi.
Chi-Chi fights at the "Toisan Tournament of Champions", and the temple is also apparently located in Toisan. In real life, Toisan is a coastal level city in Guangdong Province, China, well-known for being the hometown of a large number of Chinese-Americans; celebrities of Toisan include politicians Adrienne Clarkson and Hiram Fong, cinematographer James Wong Howe, and actors Donnie Yen and James Hong.
James Wong was on board to direct The Final Destination in 3-D, the fourth installment in the franchise he created, but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts with Dragonball: Evolution.
The Narrator is an exclusive part in the Japanese dub of the movie.
Music composer Brian Tyler recorded the film's score with an 82-piece ensemble of the Hollywood Studio Symphony at 20th Century Fox's Newman Scoring Stage.
Stephen Chow wanted Kitty Zhang Yuqi to play Chi-Chi.
For the desert shots of a travelling Bulma to be perfect, Emmy Rossum had to ride the motorcycle in 4-foot sand drifts at a speed of 40 mph. It was an arduous experience ("40mph over bumpy sand dunes that is enough to make anyone a little queasy"), especially since filming would start at sunrise, and the bike would stall a few times and had to be dug out often; however, the cast and crew would assist each other and put everyone at ease for filming to continue well.
The filmmakers decided to keep the number of characters in the film to an absolute minimum for a tighter story and better characterization. Therefore, sentient animals like Oolong and Puar were removed for realism, and fan-favourites like Tien and Krillin were removed for better focus on the core characters.
The film's title was originally going to be simply "Dragonball" in homage to the title of the original series, but the word "Evolution" was added to show that this would be a more different and advanced version of the saga.
'Dragonball Evolution' was one of the films that Fox Studios owned the rights to for years but hadn't green-lit production for, but due to the Writer's Strike of 2007-2008 was finally pushed into production (this was also the case for The X Files: I Want to Believe).
Producer Stephen Chow is a big fan of Dragon Ball, and signed on to the film immediately. He was deeply interested in being the director, but decided to just serve as producer because he believes in directing only his own original stories.
During the early days of filming pictures were released to a Mexican newspaper called "Record". In that paper a full run down of what Dragonball was to be about as well as information on its director James Wong were given. However the pictures labeled as "the Director" and "actors" were nothing more than simple extras, in fact the picture of the supposed director was that of a chubby, white, blond haired extra, a huge contrast to James Wong who is of course a slim, Asian man.
According to the film's make-up expert Ed French, it took four hours to apply the prosthetics to James Marsters to change him into Piccolo. At first it took 17 hours, but Marsters had difficulty breathing and Piccolo's look also seemed overdone, so some prosthetics were removed, thus shortening the time to 4 hours.
Director James Wong personally asked Japanese pop musician Ayumi Hamasaki if she could compose and sing the film's theme song. Since Dragon Ball was created in Japan, he felt that the song should be by a Japanese singer and in Japanese. Wong was so impressed with Hamasaki's song "Rule" that he ensured that the song would appear for all international releases of the film.
James Marsters discussed the look of Piccolo during the Grand Slam 2008 convention. He said the producers wanted to make Piccolo "more beautiful" than James wanted him to be. Since the producers weren't around when filming started, James and the make up artist changed the character's look to make him ugly, which would reflect Piccolo's rage from being imprisoned for so long. James said, "It would be better to be fired than mess up Piccolo."
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