Is a Dragon Ball Z live-action movie in the works?

Taking a look at whether or not a DBZ live action film is in production (Image via Toei Animation)
Taking a look at whether or not a DBZ live action film is in production (Image via Toei Animation)

The Dragon Ball series is one of the most successful and popular shonen animanga series of all time. Akira Toriyama’s magnum opus gained popularity when the manga was released. However, the anime adaptation took the series to new heights, making it a global phenomenon. Given how big the series is, it is no surprise that a ton of movies have been released in the recent past.

The 2022 Japanese computer-animated martial arts movie, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero (DBSSH), is currently being screened in theaters. However, some fans want to know if a Dragon Ball Z live-action movie is in the making.

It isn’t uncommon for a few production houses to create live-action versions of anime films. This animanga series was no exception, as it also received a non-canon live-action adaptation in 2009 called Dragon Ball Evolution.

So, while there is no news of a Dragon Ball Z live-action movie being produced, why is this question being raised?

Why are there rumors of a Dragon Ball live-action movie in production after the release of DBSSH?


One of the most common reasons for fans to spread such rumors is the trailers and teasers being uploaded on YouTube. The fanbase is filled with talented artists who create mock live-action trailers whose quality can be compared to a top-tier production house’s work. This has been the case with numerous shonen animanga titles, including Naruto and One Piece.

Lack of information or research might cause some to believe that these independent projects are official trailers for the movie. However, this is not the case, and the best way to check whether or not a poster or trailer is official is by checking the credibility of the page that uploaded it. Only official channels should be trusted when it comes to major news regarding the series.

Should Dragon Ball receive another live action adaptation?

Producing live-action adaptations of anime titles is a bit of a gamble because the execution has to be perfect for fans to enjoy it. Shifting from two-dimensional animation to real-world images can be pretty drastic as the viewer always compares it to the original animation. This alone presents a huge challenge to the director responsible for the live-action movie.

Taking away Akira Toriyama’s unique art style will significantly impact the viewer’s experience. Replacing manga or anime art with CGI is a bold move, and the production team will have to perfect the visuals by retaining the original art style as much as possible.

Hence, making a live-action adaptation of an anime series could be difficult. For example, Cowboy Bebop attempted a live-action adaptation, which turned out to be extremely underwhelming.

With such difficulties, producing a live-action movie for Dragon Ball will be challenging, especially after fans’ not-so-positive reaction after watching Dragon Ball Evolution.

Live-action film adaptations have had a poor track record, and it isn’t easy to retain the essence of the source material. Therefore, a live-action film isn’t something the creators must focus on at the moment.

Stay tuned for more anime and manga updates as 2022 progresses.

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Edited by Shreya Das
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