You may already know everything about Goku’s battles with Piccolo, but these nuggets will give you an even richer experience when you watch Dragonball Evolution.
1. The director made a late job switch.
Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle director Stephen Chow was originally supposed to direct Dragonball Evolution before Final Destination director James Wong stepped in. Chow ultimately became a producer on Dragonball Evolution.
2. There’s a Real World connection.
Actress Jamie Chung, who plays Chi-Chi in the film, first gained fame as a cast member of the reality show The Real World: San Diego in 2004.
3. And there’s also a connection to Shameless.
Dragonball Evolution wouldn’t be the last time Justin Chatwin (who plays Goku) and Emmy Rossum (who plays Bulma) star opposite each other. They would both go on to appear in the American version of the television show Shameless.
4. Chung was her own toughest opponent.
During the scene where Chi-Chi fights her doppelgänger, Chung had to learn the fight choreography for both parts so the entire fight could be shot from both perspectives. Depending on which version of Chi-Chi she was, the person fighting opposite her was a trained body double. Chung herself trained for that single fight nearly every day for one month prior to production.
5. The auditions were intense.
Chatwin’s audition process was a bit unorthodox. His second audition for the role of Goku involved the actor doing full scenes from the script on camera in full costume and makeup at a dummy set of a temple that was built by the production in the St. Gabriel Mountains in northern Los Angeles. Two weeks after the run-through, Chatwin got the part.
6. And the training was even more demanding.
Chatwin’s workout regimen involved fight training for five hours a day for five weeks straight during pre-production. For his diet, Chatwin consumed about seven meals a day but could only eat protein, fat (such as cheese), and certain carbs (such as fruit and veggies) for five months straight. He couldn’t eat any sugar, bread, or pasta whatsoever.
7. Chatwin used the classics to get into character.
To prepare for the role of Goku, director James Wong had Chatwin watch movies like Enter the Dragon starring Bruce Lee, Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, and Dragonball Evolution producer Stephen Chow’s film Kung Fu Hustle.
8. The stunt team had quite a pedigree.
Dragonball Evolution used the stunt team “87eleven Action Design,” the same group of stuntmen behind The Matrix, 300, The Hunger Games, Fight Club, and more.
9. Emmy Rossum became an actual weapons expert for her role.
She spent weeks training at a firing range with Marines.
10. Though the film was influenced by Manga, it wasn’t shot in Japan.
Most filming took place in Mexico City and Durango.
11. That’s really Chatwin’s hair.
Wong originally thought Chatwin would have to wear a custom wig in order to create Goku’s signature hairdo, but the look was ultimately achieved using Chatwin’s actual hair and large amounts of gel and hairspray. To get his character’s hair in place, Chatwin spent an hour a day in the makeup chair having it done up and taken out.
12. Piccolo’s makeup was a real process.
Actor James Marsters spent four hours a day in a makeup chair.
13. But it was worth it for Marsters.
The actor was extremely enthusiastic about appearing in a Dragonball film. He told TV Guide, “Dragonball is the coolest television cartoon in the last 50,000 years. It's got a Shakespearean sense of good and evil.”
14. Goku’s wardrobe choices were plentiful.
There were over 50 different costume designs for Goku’s iconic orange gi before director James Wong selected the final design that appears onscreen.
15. Yamcha has a great voice.
Actor Joon Park (who plays Yamcha) is actually a massively successful pop star in Korea. His former boyband called “G.O.D.” has sold over a million records to date and is poised to make its first comeback tour this year after breaking up in 2002.