Spanish publication, Premiere, has basically dedicated their latest issue to DragonballEvolution. View the scans below. And thanks to Linoa from the comments, we now have a translation!
“on the set DRAGONBALLEVOLUTION
Will Sheng Long’s power be able to save the world?”
“I have to admit that I didn’t know Dragonball at the time it was born in Japan (1984, magazine Shonen Jump), but I did five years before the rest of America, thanks to a japanese friend which offered me playcards and “tankobon” (manga compilations) with Son Goku’s adventures. I don’t know if it was the main character’s charisma or its innocent similarities with Superman, the unbelievable vehicles and robots’ drawings, the scenarios, or the awesome form in which its creator, Akira Toriyama, converted age-old oriental legends in a story suitable for the cultures and the places of the world. Actually I was trapped in this phenomenon, to the point that I was collecting figurines, the Editorial Vid compilations, more than 15 video games and, of course, recording tens of episodes on VHS.
That’s why the travel to Durango in February 2008 to present DragonBallEvolution’s filming was a dream becoming reality to me, even if I had reservations due to, at least, two factors : 1) Akira Toriyama missing in the project and 2) the awful previous unofficial taiwanese movie based on the franchise. With a few months left before the release of the movie in theatres, and with the recents pictures, trailers and rumours that provoked the anger of thousands of “otakus” (anime and manga fans) around the world, I see myself in the obligation to raise my hand to defend Evolution. And here are my reasons.
CHATTING WITH A FAN
This is just known by a few people, but James Marsters is one of the most fervents Dragonball fans in America. So much that he fought for months to obtain a document for the set where the english dubbing is made, and he handled Piccolo Daimaku precisely (played in Mexico by the actor Carlos Segundo).
In an exclusive talk, Marsters told us : “I have a private stipulation with the director which consists in, if I feel that the movie is losing the original essence of the franchise, I quit right away. My son is a fan like me and he calls me every day to tell me : “Dad, don’t let this movie suck! It’s Dragonball!” Do you think that I would deceive my son and myself?””
“The other reason for why I have to enumerate my hopes for Evolution to be successful is the fact that the production and the cast chose the beautiful state of Durango for the location of 90% of the scenes. It’s fair that this magic place was reborn as a cineland, after the peak that it had during so much years and that knew a decline because of political matters.
As a stronger argument I have to say that, even if James Wong assured that Akira Toriyama wasn’t in the production, he admitted that he was keeping constant communication with him, and even if he was nervous, he was very excited with the results that had the movie. We have to remember that Toriyama-san is an industrial engineer and all the machines and vehicles designs in the movie are in theory, functional. In the art department I saw tens of designs that only him could have conceived. So, is he really missing at 100% of the project? Even if this article is done, I look at the sky from my window and, talking to a fictional Sheng Long with my collector Dragonballs in my hand, I wish that Evolution won’t break my “otaku”’s heart.”
Picture’s legends :
“James Marsters aka Piccolo”
“The director James Wong”
“Outside Durango : on location in Santa Fe, on the D.F”
The big sentence : “Akira Toriyama wasn’t in the production, but he maintained communication with the director.”
The yellow frame at the bottom of the page :
“Dragonball’s Who’s who (according to the original scenario)
SON GOKU : Humanoid of the Saiyajin race (Vegeta planet), sent to Earth to conquer it. When he lands down, he meets Gohan the warrior, who adopts him and trains him to be good. Goku is noble, naive, and is a tireless warrior. He’s searching for the balls to have the opportunity to see his grand-father again.
BULMA : Daughter of one of the most clever scientist of the planet, she’s not only pretty, but charismatic and bright. She invented the Dragonballs’s Radar and Trunks’s Time Machine, among other things. She’s searching for the balls to… ask them a boyfriend!
YAMCHA : Thief and mercenary, it’s well said that he’s evil. Powerful in the martial arts, but not gifted with ladies, he’s searching for the balls with the aim to end with that awful defect and to get a girlfriend who will spoil him.
CHICHI : OgSatan’s daughter, powerful warrior. Since childhood she has a strong character and she gives in to Goku in authority, however none of them was able to win over the other during a fight. She becomes Goku’s fiancée and later his wife, however he never knew with precision how was the thing. She has with him two sons : Son Gohan and Son Goten.
PICCOLO : Evil side of Kamisama (who was supposed to be God, but later we know that he’s from the Namek planet). His first form was evil and merciless, but when he was destroyed by Goku, Goku threw an egg which reincarnated him in a less evil form. Since then he’s been a powerful ally and mentor of Gohan, Goku’s son”
“Another thing that appealed to me during the visit of the set was the detail that the director James Wong (The One, Final Destination 1 and 3) put in the production. For example, we visited the Dragon Temple’s exterior, a structure built entirely with a melting of latex and resin which was handmade to give it the look of rocks curved a long time ago. The makeup team (mexican, of course) is the same that did the zombies and other abominations in the 3 Resident Evil movies. We have to acknowledge it : their work is very great.
And like if that wasn’t enough, we talked with Mayes Castillero de Rubeo, a talented woman proud to be mexican who took care also of the costumes in “Avatar” y “Apocalypto”. We can notice that herself is a Dragonball fan, I asked what was her contribution to make the movie the most faithful to the series. “I’m surprised and glad that you ask me this. I confess that I use a pallet of colours identical to the one in the anime – the manga doesn’t have colors – not only to make everybody see that Goku has the same fighting costume that in the anime, but in order to prevent any confusion with the Vegito costume – fusion between Vegeta and Goku, which is slightly bright orange than his-”
From the volcano to the hospital
I can’t violate the secret that I have to keep on various details of the script until the film is released, but I have to say that it was a pleasure to experience the fact to be from a few meters of a scene’s filming in which Justin Chatwin (Goku) was fighting against three aliens inside a volcano as a part of the training with Chow Yun-Fat. In fact, in this scene, Chatwin hurt himself, but in a tremendous demonstration of professionalism, this didn’t stop him the day he returned from the hospital to talk with us.
“Actually, I never was a huge Dragonball fan, but I like it enough to feel very happy to incarnate this great character. It’s like incarnate Superman! I have to say that one of my favorite moments during this filming is having met Ernie Hudson (Master Mutaito), I am a Ghostbusters fan!””
“Hope shines for DRAGONBALLEVOLUTION
Despite the hardcore fans’ scepticism and the low expectations, this “otaku” keeps the illusion alive that the movie won’t be a disappointment. We went to the set to confirm that””
Apparently there was much more to the previous DBE preview entry that we posted before. This new addition to the DragonballEvolutionmovie preview reveals a lot of details concerning the storyline to DragonballEvolution and much more. Note that this is the official press kit for the film. Beware of spoilers!
Goku’s quest – with nothing less than the fate of our world at stake – begins innocently enough in the backyard of his grandfather’s home, where Gohan is training the young man in some exotic martial arts moves. It is Goku’s 18th birthday, and Gohan’s gift to his grandson is a Dragonball, a small, round ball whose surface is smooth and pearl-like, but with a milky translucence that gives it depth. Four stars float inside the ball. There are only six others like it in the world, and it is said the seven Dragonballs together will grant the holder one perfect wish.
Connected to the legend of the Dragonballs is Goku’s own mysterious past – he never knew his parents – as well as the coming solar eclipse, which superstitions mark as a sign of a coming apocalypse. Gohan promises to reveal all to Goku at the special birthday dinner Gohan is preparing for his grandson.
But Goku skips out on Gohan’s feast, to attend a party hosted by Chi Chi, a fellow student to whom Goku is drawn. As the two teens get to know one another, a tragedy at home is triggered by the arrival of a dark force – propelling Goku, Roshi, Bulma, Yamcha and Chi Chi into a race to collect all seven Dragonballs. The stakes couldn’t be higher. Goku will face the deadliest enemies on Earth, master a powerful force called Ki, which marshals the energy of the universe – and learn the truth of his incredible past…and of a potentially unthinkable future.
Turning a beloved global property into a motion picture event is no easy task, and it took years after Twentieth Century Fox acquired the rights to the graphic novel series Dragonball to make that happen. A big-screen adaptation finally began to come together when filmmaker James Wong, who has worked extensively in the science fiction/fantasy genre, took an interest in the property. Wong recalls: “I read the mangas, which really sparked my interest in the property. The graphic novels take us to a fantastic world with great characters – and they’re a lot of fun.”
Inspired by the manga, Wong and screenwriter Ben Ramsey worked to achieve a mix of action, humor and character relationships for the new movie. “We strove to hit the right combination of the fantastic and the relatable,” says Wong. Huge action set pieces, state of the art visual effects, and elaborate martial arts sequences would be key elements of “DRAGONBALL: EVOLUTION,” but there was also much to explore with the characters, their rich histories, and their evolving relationships.
“I believe that the appeal of Dragonball, beyond its super-cool action, is the richly creative world that Akira Toriyama invented,” says Ramsey. “There is a complexity and humanity to the superhuman characters who inhabit that world, as well as an overwhelming sense of optimism that its lead character (Goku) embellishes.”
The challenges in adapting Dragonball for the big screen were formidable, starting with creating a story that would satisfy the hardcore fans and introduce the world to non-fans. “So the concept was to start off in a world that felt familiar, then gradually introduce the fantastic elements of Dragonball, so by mid-movie we are in full on Dragonball mode,” notes Ramsey.
“The biggest challenge in adapting a manga or animated series for a live action movie is the burden of reality,” he continues. “Once characters are brought to life by flesh and blood humans, the rules change, if ever so slightly. Animated characters can get away with a lot more than live action characters. Writing for live action characters has to allow for nuance in dialogue, character dynamics and action.”
Ramsey and Wong took note of the fact that the manga’s characters and environments are central to its universal appeal and relatability. “DRAGONBALL: EVOLUTION,” like the manga, is set in the near future, in a multi-cultural environment. It is a world where “future and past become one,” says Wong, and where “race plays no significant role.” To that end, the casting process for the film was, as Wong puts it, “color blind.” The production set up casting offices in Los Angeles, New York, Vancouver, London, Hong Kong and Japan – “the broadest net we’ve ever thrown over a casting process,” notes the director.
Justin Chatwin landed the role of Goku after an exhaustive worldwide search. Goku is a high school student whose innocence and guilelessness are left behind when he begins his hero’s journey. “The character has a great arc – from high school nerd to the planet’s savior,” says Wong. “One minute, Goku is a high school student who doesn’t fit in with his peers; the next, he’s on an incredible quest.” Chatwin sparked to the idea of the hero’s journey, having long been an admirer of the work of mythologists like Joseph Campbell, whose writings often dealt with the role of the hero figure. “Goku begins his journey as an everyday teen who discovers he’s meant for something more,” says Chatwin. “He becomes a symbol of moral good.”
Goku’s transformative journey is all well and good, as are his martial arts skills, but a subject of equal scrutiny was the character’s….hair. The legions of Dragonball fans identify Goku through his uniquely styled, spiked coif. “That was my first question to Jimmy Wong,” says Chatwin with a laugh. “‘What are you going to do with the hair?’ It’s so important, that even the hair has an arc!” (Goku’s hairstyle evolves through the film into its signature, spiky “do.”)
One of the first steps in Goku’s journey is to seek out Roshi, an elderly Master who completes Goku’s training, helps him unlock the secret of his past – and joins him in a quest to save the world. Roshi is unlike any Eastern Master you’ve seen before; he has an eye for the ladies and favors Hawaiian shirts. According to Wong, the role required nothing less than an iconic actor who could convey the character’s many dimensions and incredible abilities. “We had to really reach high to find our Roshi,” says Wong, “and we decided to just go for it and approach Chow Yun-Fat,” the legendary international superstar who has toplined some of the cinema’s most acclaimed action films, including the Oscar®-winning “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”
Chow wasn’t an obvious physical match to the Roshi fans know from the manga and anime. Wong explains: “In the manga, Roshi is a quirky, elderly figure, who’s unpredictable. He’s definitely not your traditional Master who dispenses sage advice.” While no amount of makeup and prosthetics could transform the strapping Chow – whom People magazine called one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world, and the Los Angeles Times termed “the coolest actor in the world” – into the diminutive, aged figure of the manga, Chow worked hard to capture the character’s spirit. “I’ve never had the kind of challenge I’ve had with the role of Roshi,” says the actor. “There is so much to him – humor, action, romance, emotion. He has extraordinary powers, but he’s still funny, recognizable and human.”
One of the many ideas the actor proposed for the character was donning gray-tinted contact lenses, hinting at the onset of cataracts. “I thought the lenses would add to the realism and relatability of Roshi,” says Chow, who also regularly practiced Tai Chi and mediation before and during the shoot.
Thrilled to be working with a cinema icon, the cast and crew were equally impressed with Chow’s work ethic off camera. He never retreated to his trailer to relax between scenes, and would often help out the camera crew – including moving heavy equipment (becoming the most high-profile grip in the business). “Chow never left the set,” marvels director of photography Robert McLachlan, ASC/CSC. “He was like part of the crew.” But to Chow, his behind-the-scenes work was not a big deal. “It’s how we’ve been doing things in Hong Kong since the beginning of my career in television,” he points out. “The crews were tiny, and we always helped each other out.”
Chow was an inspiration to all, especially the younger actors like Justin Chatwin and Jamie Chung. Chung has the lead role in the popular ABC Family series “Samurai Girl,” whose title character possesses fighting skills that came in handy for “DRAGONBALL: EVOLUTION”. One of today’s brightest and most appealing young stars, Chung brought much more to Chi Chi than martial abilities. She has the sparkling energy necessary to fully capture the two sides of the character. “Chi Chi is the ‘It Girl’ – the most popular girl in high school,” says Chung. “She comes from a wealthy family, and everyone expects certain things from her. But she has a second life – a secret life – marked by her passion to fight. She comes off like the girl next door, but when she turns it on, she kicks butt!”
The burgeoning relationship between Chi Chi and Goku comes from, in part, them being kindred spirits. “Chi Chi is drawn to Goku’s secret ability to fight,” says Chung. “She feels there’s something really special about Goku, and she’s able to bring that out in him.”
Another beautiful young woman joining Goku in his quest is Bulma, a scientist described in the manga as the “smartest girl in the world.” The film retains the manga character’s confidence, intensity and intelligence – and the fact that she knows exactly what she wants. And what Bulma wants is the Dragonball stolen from her father’s company. Wielding a laser-guided, high-tech magnum pistol and a Dragonball-tracker, Bulma will do anything to retrieve the five-starred Dragonball, which she thinks will supply an unlimited source of energy – and immense financial rewards.
Emmy Rossum appreciated the challenges of playing such a multi-faceted character whose hard-nosed, take-no-prisoners attitude begins to change after she joins Goku and Roshi on their search for the Dragonballs. “Bulma comes to realize that life is about much more than her personal quest,” says Rossum. “The character in the manga and now our film is so alive, funny and spunky. She’s anything but ordinary.” A bonus for the actress was learning to ride Bulma’s speedster, which the production created from a Harley motorcycle.
In the manga, Bulma sports a blue bob, which became her signature look. Rossum recalls that the filmmakers tried different ways to capture that coloring and style, including dyes, hair extensions and wigs, but ultimately went in a more realistic direction. Nevertheless, there are traces of blue and purple laced throughout the character’s wardrobe.
In their search for the Dragonballs, Goku, Roshi and Bulma face their adversary, Lord Piccolo. As depicted in the manga, Piccolo is a complex and intriguing figure whose journey sees him embodying both good and evil. For in the Dragonball mythos, any character can turn from good to evil, and vice versa. James Marsters, beloved to millions of fans around the world for his lengthy stint as the vampire Spike in the hit television series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel,” portrays Piccolo in the film. His Piccolo is the story’s antagonist – “In the film, Piccolo is a figure of decrepitude, and his goals are centered on revenge,” says Marsters – but
there are hints that his journey is very much an evolving process.
Working with Piccolo is Mai, an exotic beauty tainted by malevolence. Her weapons of choice are throwing knives known as shiruken. Japanese-born actress Eriko, who came to “DRAGONBALL: EVOLUTION” after wrapping a recurring role on “Heroes,” says she enjoyed playing a “strong, tough woman on a mission.” James Wong adds that Eriko gives the role a “special quality and toughness.”
Rounding out the starring cast is Joon Park as Yamcha. Looking to get rich, quickly, Yamcha traps Goku, Roshi and Bulma in the desert. But eventually, he joins them in their journey. Park, a rock star in his native Korea, has performed in front of 100,000 screaming fans – an experience that helped him capture the essence of the character. “Joon has all the qualities necessary for Yamcha, including charisma and a sense of mischief,” says Wong. “Yamcha is tough on the outside, but inside there’s a soft heart,” adds Park. “Something in his past has scarred him, and he likes to skim across the details of life, looking for money.”
Some slightly new DragonballEvolution stills have surfaced online. These three pictures include a high quality close up of Goku performing a ki blast, a wider shot of Chi Chi fighting her clone and a close up of Bulma.
Badtaste has provided a preview of DragonballEvolution and provided information regarding the action scenes. It contains quotes from Justin Chatwin, the director, cinematographer and the stunt team. DBthemovie has provided a translation.
UPDATE – The full preview is now available.
This extended preview talks about the final battle between Piccolo and Goku, some comments from James Marsters (who plays Piccolo) and much more! Read below! Be prepared for spoilers.
“How do we make action sequences look and feel different from what audiences have experienced before?” That was the first question Wong posed to his team when he began thinking about the action fans would expect from a film based on Dragonball.
The answers coming from the acclaimed stunt team, 87Eleven, as well as from director of photography Robert McLachlan and visual effects supervisor Ariel Velasco Shaw, certainly pleased Wong – and promise to delight not only fans of the property, but action movie enthusiasts as well.
VFX supervisor Velasco Shaw employed what Wong calls “fist-cams” – from the noted company Iconix – that are so small they could be attached to an actor’s fist, allowing a character’s punch to come right into the audience. “It’s a kind of ‘fist POV’,” Wong elaborates. McLachlan contributed the suggestion of using new high-speed digital Phantom cameras to create super-slow motion for key action sequences. “We did a lot of research and development with the Phantom cameras,” says McLachlan, who had discovered the-then experimental photography on YouTube. In the YouTube video, a balloon filled with water was popped, with the “action” caught at 1000 frames per second. McLachlan and Wong were impressed with the results. “The most spectacular thing about it was that the water retained the shape of the balloon before it fell,” Wong remembers.
More “low-tech,” but equally important to amping-up the action, were the training and stunts overseen by 87Eleven, and stunt coordinators Jonathan Eusebio, Julian Bucio Montemayor, and Jared Eddo. Their first order of business was to get the cast in shape, followed by having them undergo an intensive program of action choreography, and finally, making the actors comfortable with the considerable wire work and acrobatics they’d be required to perform. It was an incredibly rigorous program – “When [the actors] weren’t working, they were training,” says Eusebio.
The young cast members underwent individually-designed training regimens – no two characters have identical fighting styles – as well as special diets to maintain their strength and stamina during production. In Dragonball lore, Goku is the greatest warrior on the planet. And Justin Chatwin took the responsibility of capturing the character’s skills, very seriously. Before the start of principal photography, he underwent six weeks of nutritional guidance and stunt and martial arts training with 87Eleven, continuing the demanding regimen during the shoot. “It all got my adrenalin going,” says the actor, who also notes he gave up sugar, wheat and pasta during his stint on the film. Chatwin spent a minimum of five hours training each day, studying karate, kung fu and a Brazilian form known as capoeira, which ritualizes movement from martial arts, games and dance. For the more extreme acrobatic maneuvers, Jackson Spidell stood in for the actor. Spidell’s signature move: flipping up in the air, then spinning halfway, and, on his way down, striking an opponent.
Chow Yun-Fat, as Roshi, was given “softer” martial styles, like Tai Chi, befitting the character’s age and experience. Jamie Chung, as young and ever-enthusiastic martial artist Chi Chi, was given “hard” fighting styles, including kickboxing, karate, and Thai boxing. Chung especially delighted in a pivotal fight scene that has Chi Chi fighting…Chi Chi. (Mai, a shape shifter, morphs into Chi Chi to steal a Dragonball.) “I had to play both sides of the fight and learn choreography for both Chi Chi and Mai,” the latter a kung fu practitioner, Chung recalls. Visual effects, including motion control and split composites, enhanced the complex battle.
And what kind of training is required for the actor playing one of the most powerful figures in the universe – Lord Piccolo? According to James Marsters, it was drills involving punching/kicking/blocking combinations. “I thought my body would break,” says the actor with a laugh. “But [the stunt team and trainers] knew exactly what my body could take.”
An early scene that sees Goku and his grandfather Gohan training on a laundry line, several feet above ground, was one of the stunt team’s favorites. “Gohan and Goku are fighting, but in a playful way,” explains stunt coordinator Jared Eddo. “Five riggers and a stunt crew of eleven, including doubles and safety experts, were involved in the scene. Pulleys and machines – along with old-fashioned manpower – allowed us to create the illusion that the characters were standing on the laundry line, and a [special rig] allowed us to maneuver the stunt people and actors.”
A climactic clash between Goku and Piccolo, set at the elaborate “Dragon Temple,” was executed and photographed as an all-out brawl, taking no less than ten day days to complete. Here, Goku executes his signature martial arts movie, “Kame-Hame-Ha,” in which he summons energies, both alien and earthly to launch a blindingly intense bolt towards his adversary. For the scene, Justin Chatwin and James Marsters were required to leap from twenty-feet above the Temple’s floor, and appear to “fly” up to some rocky ledges – all with the help of wires and cables, of course. Later, they battled in “mid-air,” suspended in front of a green screen.
That last paragraph took my breath away. It is clear that the battles in this movie will in fact be amazingly close to what we have seen from the anime.
We posted a teaser scan from the March issue Shonen Jump a few days ago. Now we have obtained a higher quality scan and also a new scan. The second page basically just shows the cover artwork for the DragonballEvolution books, but also the never before seen cover art for the DB Sticker Book. The artwork shows a new shot of Piccolo and will have over 100 stickers.
The next issue of Shonen Jump will have a much more detailed section dedicated to the movie including character breakdown, new interviews and more plot details. Anyways enjoy this issue of Shonen Jump and also enjoy the new movie stills included in the scan!
We have a translated new interview with Justin Chatwin (Goku) and Emmy Rossum (Bulma) from the Japanese newspaper, Sankei Shinbun.
“There are a lot of Dragonball fans all over the world. I was always thinking what the fans were thinking, I felt responsibility,” said Chatwin, who was chosen as Goku, with a serious face.
“He totally devoted himself to practice the role, so when he stepped into a dangerous area, no one could approach him,” said Rossum. Chatwin responded with a joke, “I was thinking it was my mission to fight against the bad guys of Mexico City.”
“Dragonball” tends to be thought of “for kids,” but Chatwin says “the movie is the story of Goku coming to be a warrior. It will be enjoyable for both children and adults, even non-fans.” Rossum added, “The movie is also devoted to the adult fans who grew up with Dragonball.”
IGN has officially released details and screenshots for the upcoming DragonballEvolution video game for the PSP (Playstation Portable).
Gary Rosenfeld, Senior Vice President, New Media for Fox L&M, added, “Dragon Ball is one of the most successful manga series of all-time and the upcoming film and videogame will only build upon its unprecedented popularity. I can’t wait for fans to get a taste of these latest installments to the franchise.”
In Dragon Ball: Evolution for the PSP system, ultimate powers collide as players match up against their favorite characters from the film release and battle for control of the seven sacred Dragon Balls that have the power to grant any wish. Dragon Ball: Evolution employs an easy-to-learn yet difficult to master fighting system which provides everyone the power to pull off stylish and dynamic attacks. Ki (energy) management will be essential to gain the upper hand and unleash a devastating attack on their unsuspecting opponents.
Participating in intense battles, gamers are invited to follow the path of Goku to his predestined fight against the evil Lord Piccolo in Story mode. Players can also battle against a number of opponents in Arcade mode, accept challenges in Mission mode or hone their technique in Training mode. Dragon Ball: Evolution also lets players challenge friends to online feats of strength in Network Battle mode for infinite+ replay value.