A live-action Dragon Ball Z movie has reportedly been in development at Disney for some time, with the studio focused on using an all-Asian cast. Having broken the news last year, we’ve also heard talk that Disney wants to build a Dragon Ball cinematic universe, including a live-action series, possibly as a way to crack the Chinese market. And now, sources close to WGTC – the same ones who said Extraction is getting a sequel and the Mouse House is remaking Robin Hood, both of which were correct – have told us that The Batman star Andy Serkis is being eyed to play Frieza in the live-action film.
Serkis is apparently high on the studio’s list due to his expertise in motion capture and voiceover work, making him a strong choice for bringing a CGI version of Frieza to the screen. Indeed, given the character’s many transformations in the Dragon Ball universe, we could be seeing a variety of designs in the live-action movie. And while details on the exact role he’d have in the story remain unclear, Disney’s apparent commitment to making Dragon Ball a new franchise should mean that they’ll be pulling out the stops for effects work. Or at least, more so than 2009’s poorly received Dragonball Evolution.
While we’re hearing that the studio want an exclusively Asian cast for the project, with potential actors including Henry Golding of Crazy Rich Asians as Vegeta, casting Serkis in a purely CGI role would represent a sound decision based off his work in the Lord of the Rings and Planet of the Apes franchises. If you’re going for someone to provide a stellar mocap performance, then you can’t really look past Serkis, who’s also delivered for Disney in Star Wars and the MCU, to name just some of his roles.
At the moment, the actor is currently filming The Batman as Alfred Pennyworth, albeit around the COVID-19 lockdown, and is also stepping behind the camera for Venom: Let There Be Carnage. While firm details on the Dragon Ball Z movie are still hard to come by, including the potential plot, the number of different reports about the production that have come our way suggest it won’t be long until Disney put an official stamp on the project and as soon as that happens, we’ll be sure to let you know.