James Marsters Knew Dragonball Evolution Was Doomed From His First Day On Set
Movies - TV
The "Dragon Ball" media empire began with Akira Toriyama's manga, first published in 1984, and has since then blown into a global phenomenon, sparking long-running TV series, video games, and 20+ Japanese films. With all that success, there was no doubt Hollywood would want to capitalize with a live-action film.
Since his 12-year-old son loved “Dragon Ball,” James Marsters was excited to play King Piccolo in “Dragonball Evolution.” He was also told it would be a $120million dollar film produced by “Kung Fu Hustle” director Stephen Chow, of whose work he is a big fan.
However, Marsters soon realized he had been tricked, saying in an interview, "And I get out to Durango, Mexico and it's a $30 million picture and Stephen Chow is just on paper to fool us down into the desert. And they don't even want to pay for the stuntman to get made up like me, so they never used the stuntman; they just kept putting me up on wires. I still have a separated clavicle from the shoot.”
Opening night started out promising, as Marsters took his family to a packed theater — only to realize he was in the wrong one, and the theater for “Dragonball Evolution” had a total of five people. The film was a commercial failure, only making $9.3 million domestically, and was so badly disliked by fans that screenwriter Ben Ramsay would later openly apologize for what he created.