Is a Dragon Ball Z Movie Releasing on Netflix In 2024? Live-Action Film Speculation Explained

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
Dragon-Ball Z, Netflix N

A new rumor about a live-action Dragon Ball Z movie on Netflix is spreading the rounds on social media.

The famous anime Dragon Ball chronicles the adventures of Goku, an individual who came from an alien race known as Saiyans and who protects Earth from various threats such as his fellow Saiyans, evil aliens, androids, and even magical creatures.

A live-action Dragon Ball movie titled Dragon Ball: Evolution premiered in theaters in 2009, but it ultimately failed to receive the praise and love from diehard fans of the anime. 

Dragon Ball: Evolution earned a lackluster 14% critic score and 20% audience rating from Rotten Tomatoes. While it grossed a worldwide total of $56.5 million at the box office against a budget of $30 million, many claimed that it is one of the worst movies of all time.

In April 2009, Justin Chatwin, who played Goku in the movie, told MTV that a script for a sequel was finished, teasing that the follow-up "really goes to some different places that [he'd] never seen in any comic book adaptations."

Is Netflix Releasing a New Live-Action Dragon Ball Z Movie?

A few posts showing several images depicting characters from Dragon Ball Z have gone viral on social media, garnering thousands of shares and tens of thousands of 'likes.'

The posts claimed that the screenshots were from a new live-action Dragon Ball Z movie on Netflix, showcasing images of characters like Goku, Vegeta, Krillin, Master Roshi, and Piccolo. 

Goku, Vegeta, Piccolo

Unfortunately, for Dragon Ball Z fans, the images are AI-generated, and Netflix is not developing a live-action movie for the anime. 

In March 2023, Creed and Black Panther star Michael B. Jordan, via Nerdist, expressed some interest in potentially directing a live-action Dragon Ball Z movie down the line though he mentioned that it would "probably be the ultimate challenge:"

"I love challenges.[Directing a 'Dragon Ball Z' live-action movie] would probably be the ultimate challenge. It’s almost like a Catch-22. Who is going to be the first one to really roll the dice and try to get that one in the real way? I don’t know. I don’t have the answers yet."

Zack Snyder, who is known for his DC movies (Man of Steel and Zack Snyder's Justice League) and most recently Rebel Moon, spoke with YouTuber Tyrone Magnus in April 2021 about possibly helming a Dragon Ball Z movie, noting that he would consider the opportunity: 

“Yeah, I would consider that. I mean, if it came around, but definitely I would do an anime remake or live-action."

Snyder continued by pointing out that he loves watching anime and that it would be fun to tackle the genre down the line: 

“That would be fun because I love animation and I’ve been watching a fair amount. I watch a ton of anime with my kid who’s too young to watch it, but we watch it anyway.”

It is a good sign that there is some interest from famous individuals like Snyder and Jordan about tackling a live-action Dragon Ball Z movie since those comments would serve as the foundation for a future project down the line. 

The continued fan-driven conversation centered around Dragon Ball Z suggests that there is still a strong demand for the anime and a live-action adaptation would be welcomed as long as it is done right. 

The recent success of One Piece and Avatar: The Last Airbender cemented the idea that a live-action adaptation can still thrive amid the plethora of superhero films and movies about giant kaijus fighting against each other. 

Perhaps the hype anchored by the success of these live-action adaptations (not to mention the upcoming live-action Naruto movie by Shang-Chi director Destin Daniel Cretton) could be the driving force for studios to take another look at Dragon Ball Z as a franchise that has overwhelming potential if it will be done right. 

Dragon Ball Z is streaming on Crunchyroll

Read more about other anime:

Maboroshi Anime Movie's True Meaning & Ending Explained

Made In Abyss Anime Controversy Explained

Tower of God Season 2 Release, News and Everything We Know

- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.