Most of the cussing about Dragonball Evolution is from the rabid fans that somehow think the original animated series should translate literally to an on screen masterpiece. Well in recent talks with some of the stars and the director James Wong, they discuss some of the reasoning behind the changes they took in adapting the manga to the big screen.
The filmmakers behind “Dragonball Evolution” added 10 years to its hero to give the movie a grittier look, actor James Marsters said at a press conference Wednesday.
In the comic book series, “Goku is 7 years old and fighting midgets all the time,” said Marsters, who plays Goku’s rival, Lord Piccolo. “We muscled it up.”
But while Goku was given a more adult interpretation, director James Wong said he toned down another key character — Roshi, a flirtatious, Hawaii-shirt wearing martial arts master — to appeal to a broader audience.
Roshi, played by veteran Hong Kong actor Chow Yun-fat, is “a little tamer than he is in the manga,” Wong said.
Wong said condensing the dozens of “Dragonball” manga books that have already been published was a tough task. “All that we hoped to do was to preserve the essence of Dragonball — the fun, the thrills the adventure,” he said.
I think that the film looks to have captured all that. Besides, they were never shy about admitting it was an adaptation. By pure definition of the word, it means “changes due to a new environment” Some of the over eager fans have been so obsessed over the changes they don’t notice the overall intent to keep the spirit of the manga alive.
I think the changes were neccessary. I don’t think I need to see a 7 year old surfing around on a cloud while a goofy old man makes flirty comments about girls and silly faces.
I also think it is a good thing that Wong is using the manga as his inspiration since most of the fans seem to fall back on how the book was less “for children” as the cartoon is. If he manages to capture the spirit of what is going on there, the movie will likely have a broader appeal.