We can be certain arguments are looming on the horizon over the worth of Hollywood’s adaptations of the likes of Ghost in the Shell and Tiger & Bunny, but when Dragonball Evolution opened in 2009, hardcore fans, casual viewers and the clueless alike were in agreement that it was a huge mistake. Even Akira Toriyama couldn’t muster as much as reluctant acceptance.
Now we’ve put some seven years’ distance between us and that debacle, even screenwriter Ben Ramsey is ready to admit defeat. Derek Padula, writer of the fan-made Trunks movie Dragon Ball Z: Light of Hope and author of Dragon Soul, is in the process of writing his new book USA DBZ, and when he asked Ramsey for an interview, he instead received this apology in reply:
“I knew that it would eventually come down to this one day. Dragonball Evolution marked a very painful creative point in my life. To have something with my name on it as the writer be so globally reviled is gut wrenching. To receive hate mail from all over the world is heartbreaking. I spent so many years trying to deflect the blame, but at the end of the day it all comes down to the written word on page and I take full responsibility for what was such a disappointment to so many fans. I did the best I could, but at the end of the day, I ‘dropped the dragon ball.’
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. So I’m not blaming anyone for Dragonball but myself. As a fanboy of other series, I know what it’s like to have something you love and anticipate be so disappointing.
To all the Dragon Ball fans out there, I sincerely apologize.
I hope I can make it up to you by creating something really cool and entertaining that you will like and that is also something I am passionate about. That’s the only work I do now.