Goku may finally be getting the quality big screen treatment for which he's long been overdue. An anonymous source has claimed, via pop culture website We Got This Covered, that a new live action adaptation of Dragon Ball is currently being developed by Disney. While skepticism is always warranted in these sorts of situations, there are at least a few reasons to believe this new attempt might end up being significantly more successful than the last time a movie studio tried to depict Goku and company with live actors.
First off, the source behind the leak previously revealed to We Got This Covered that Disney was developing a sequel to its live action Aladdin remake, which was later confirmed, so there's reason to believe the source's veracity. According to the leak, this new film will be granted a large budget, and feature an all-Asian cast.
The budget is, of course, a sign of good things to come. While Disney is so massive that it can surely afford a couple blockbuster flops here and there, putting a significant amount of money behind a new project is at a vote of confidence at worst, and a guarantee that the team behind the film will take the time to ensure that it's a quality product at best.
While the promise of an all-Asian cast offers no insight into the eventual quality of the film on its own, it does suggest a certain level of respect for the source material. Given that Dragon Ball Z is based on the 16th century Chinese novel, Journey To The West, (not to mention being designed by Japanese artists and originally voiced by Japanese actors) representing those characters with an Asian cast is nonetheless a choice made out of sensitivity to the demands of the source material. Dragonball: Evolution's severely lacking versions of its characters were likely the result of a studio making decisions based solely on what they thought would sell well, and this doesn't sound like that, at least for now.
All of that said, adapting anime for the big screen is practically Herculean task. Anime adaptations generally range from serviceable to not-quite-as-good-as-the-anime. That's including Japanese anime films; Western anime adaptations have an significanltly worse track record. Given that it's Disney making the movie, they'll probably play things pretty safe. So far, Disney's formula has managed to please plenty of comic book fans. Here's to hoping the same will happen with Dragon Ball.
Source: We Got This Covered