Twentieth Century Fox is finally moving forward with a live-action adaptation of the hugely popular manga "Dragonball," casting the stars of the movie and setting a release date of next summer, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Justin Chatwin is starring as the hero Goku, while James Marsters will play the villain Piccolo in the sci-fi adventure, which will be directed by James Wong. The movie has been slated for a worldwide release date of Aug. 15, 2008.
Stephen Chow, the filmmaker behind Kung Fu Hustle and Shaolin Soccer, is producing.
The story follows an adult humanoid alien named Goku, who discovers that he was sent to Earth to blend in and destroy our population but instead elects to protect it from an oncoming alien onslaught bent on dominating the universe and controlling the mystical objects from which the film takes its name.
"Dragonball" is one of the most successful Japanese cultural exports of all time. The manga, created by Akira Toriyama and published by Tokyo's Jump Comics, was adapted into graphic novels, video games and a phenomenally successful television series that ran in Europe, Asia, Latin America and North America. "Dragonball's" popularity also generated more than $4 billion in merchandising sales. In North America, the property was called "Dragonball Z."
Production begins later this year. Other major roles are currently being cast.
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