When I heard that Dragon Ball Z would be a movie, I was more than excited. For years, I dreamed of a live-action Dragon Ball flick, but then I was the guy who owned all the mangas and watched that ancient cheap live-action version of Dragon Ball: The Spirits Within. I used to watch the show before it hit Cartoon Network and became popular. Waaay back when it was on KCAL 9 and you had to wake up at 5 a.m. to catch a Saturday morning episode. Everything was great until I visited IMDB and checked out the message boards. Instead of excitement from the fans twittering about the movie, I found THIS:
"Wow, it looks like they are using Asians for just about every role. . .except the main character. Who do we blame for this racism, Hollywood or the American audience? Perhaps, both? Some people like to make the argument that Goku is an alien and not Asian. Well Superman is also an alien, but he is still white! If you're going to have a white guy play Goku, then why not let an Asian play Clark in the next Superman movie? Oh, that's right, because Asians aren't white."
I think Paul Mooney on the Chapelle Show said it the best: “ Hollywood is crazy.”
There have been movies titled The Mexican starring Brad Pit and The Last Samurai starred Tom Cruise. At least this movie doesn't have a racially confuzzling name and will in some ways stay within the original storyline.
What the guy had to say was partially true. Hollywood can be and is racist on occasion. But I don't think that’s the case here. Pulling the Superman card is a cheap move, as the character was created in 1938, when protagonists couldn’t possibly be anything but white. Superheroes like Black Panther wouldn’t have made it to the drawing board back then.
The fact that Justin Chatwin was chosen to play Goku is because he's right for the part. His hair and jawline are very similar to Goku's and if he does a good job acting the part, no one should care. Stephen Chow is the main producer of the film and to my knowledge he’s about 100% Asian. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they don’t ruin this like they ruined the Incredible Hulk.
Anyway, here's a video of the cast: