'Dragonball' pic a Goku at Fox


Fox is moving forward with a live-action adaptation of the hugely popular manga "Dragonball," casting the stars and setting a release date for the summer.

Justin Chatwin will star as the hero and James Marsters will play the villain in the science fiction adventure, which will be directed by James Wong. The movie has been penciled in for a worldwide release Aug. 15. Stephen Chow ("Kung Fu Hustle") is producing.

"Dragonball" is one of the most successful Japanese cultural exports ever. The manga, created by Akira Toriyama and published by Tokyo's Jump Comics, was adapted into graphic novels, video games and a popular television series that aired in Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America (where it was titled "Dragonball Z"). It also generated more than $4 billion in merchandising sales worldwide.

The story centers on an adult humanoid alien named Goku, who discovers that he was sent to Earth to blend in and destroy the population but instead elects to protect it from an oncoming alien onslaught bent on dominating the universe and controlling the mystical objects from which the film takes its name.

Chatwin, who plays Goku, already has begun training with stunt performance company 87Eleven, which has designed and executed action pieces in such films as "The Matrix," "The Bourne Supremacy," "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" and "300." Marsters is playing the villainous Piccolo.

Wong rewrote the previous draft by Ben Ramsey.

Chatwin, repped by WMA, played Tom Cruise's son in Steven Spielberg's "War of the Worlds."

Marsters is known for his role as the vampire Spike on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." He is repped by the Kohner Agency and Himber Entertainment.

Wong co-wrote and directed "Final Destination" and "Final Destination 3" and was a writer-exec producer on "The X-Files." He is repped by Endeavor.