"Angel" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" veteran James Marsters will play the villainous Piccolo in 20th Century Fox's "Dragonball" feature.
The live action adaptation of the popular Japanese manga series will be written and directed by James Wong ("Final Destination").
Get ready for a swift turnaround, because "Dragonball" will begin production in later this month and has been set for an Aug. 15, 2008 release date, according to the industry trade papers.
While Marsters will play the main bag guy (and provide the most excitement for the fanboys), Justin Chatwin will star as Goku, an extraterrestrial raised on Earth. Gifted with a variety of exceptional abilities, including mad martial arts skills, Goku protests Earth from a variety of villains. The eponymous Dragon Balls are magical orbs that produce even more power when combined.
Akira Toriyama created "Dragonball" as a serialized comic in the '80s. The manga has spread to graphic novels, video games and a TV series that has played in the United States as "Dragon Ball Z."
The feature will be produced by Stephen Chow, of "Kung Fu Hustle" and "Shaolin Soccer" fame.
In addition to his turns as Spike on both "Buffy" and "Angel," Marsters has done a guest turn on TNT's "Amazing Grace" and booked a role on CBS' "Without a Trace."
Chatwin is most family as Tom Cruise's son in "War of the Worlds." He was most recently seen in David Goyer's "The Invisible."
'Buffy,' 'Angel' Star Spikes 'Dragonball' Role
James Marsters goes bad, Justin Chatwin goes good for 'Dragonball'