Bad movies get made and released every day, and you can choose to vote with your feet and opt out, thereby sending a message that certain things will not be borne. And although it may seem like most filmmakers and actors remain unaffected by this abstention, several of them have gone to the trouble of apologizing for their offenses, which include adding “Bat nipples” to the superhero-movie lexicon. The latest mea culpa comes from Ben Ramsey, who wrote 2009’s Dragonball Evolution, which saw Shameless’ Justin Chatwin play a bland Goku to James Marsters’ scenery-chewing villain.
The A.V. Club found the live-action spin-off of the popular anime series to be a rote affair, but Dragon Ball fans have vociferously expressed their, uh, disappointment in the film, which was mostly panned by critics. This has all weighed heavily enough on Ramsey to elicit a formal apology, which was issued via The Dao Of Dragon Ball.
I knew that it would eventually come down to this one day. 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.’
I went into the project chasing after a big payday, not as a fan of the franchise but as a businessman taking on an assignment. I have learned that when you go into a creative endeavor without passion you come out with sub-optimal results, and sometimes flat out garbage. So I’m not blaming anyone for Dragonball but myself. As a fanboy of other series, I know what it’s like to have something you love and anticipate be so disappointing.
To all the Dragon Ball fans out there, I sincerely apologize.
I hope I can make it up to you by creating something really cool and entertaining that you will like and that is also something I am passionate about. That’s the only work I do now.
The Big Hit screenwriter notes that passion for the material is vital to creating something great, which sounds pretty obvious, but can be found in surprisingly short supply in the film industry—that is, except for this guy’s Die Hard sequel.