Derek Padua, the self-described "world's first professional Dragon Ball scholar," gave the world a jolt in early 2015 with a 13-minute live-action independent pilot called Dragon Ball Z: Light of Hope. Not long after, fans raised almost $66,000 on indiegogo to fund two more episodes.
"But the series has already been live-action'd!" you say, experiencing a 2009-flavored pang in your anime-loving heart. "And it was absolutely awful!" Yes. Padua knows this, and he contacted screenwriter Ben Ramsey for a new book called USA DBZ. Turns out Ramsey, who previously penned The Big Hit and Love and a Bullet and hasn't had another screenplay produced since '09, had been waiting to get some stuff off his chest.
Ramsey goes on:
"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.’"
Read Ramsey's full mea culpa at The Dao of Dragonball. He admits to "chasing after a big payday, not as a fan of the franchise but as a businessman taking on an assignment," but says he is now exclusively working on things he's got legitimate love for. Also: He digs Dragon Ball Z: Light of Hope and says it's what the Hollywood adaptation "should have been."
Watch Dragon Ball Z: Light of Hope below; it's been seen 24 million times since its release in February 2015.