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‘Dragonball’ comes to bigscreen

Wong on deck to direct film for Fox

Twentieth Century Fox is bringing the Japanese manga phenomenon “Dragonball” to the bigscreen.

Justin Chatwin will star as Goku, a powerful warrior who protects the Earth from an endless stream of rogues bent on dominating the universe and controlling the mystical objects from which the film takes its name. James Marsters is onboard as the film’s villain Piccolo.

Actor-director-writer Stephen Chow (“Kung Fu Hustle”) is producing. “Final Destination” helmer James Wong will direct from a script he penned. Ben Ramsey wrote an earlier draft.

Story is based on Akira Toriyama’s popular manga that has spawned graphic novels, a long-running TV series and more than 25 videogames, which have sold more than 10 million units since May 2002. The Jump Comics division of Tokyo-based Shueisha published the “Dragonball” manga.

With shooting scheduled to begin later this month, Fox will bow the sci-fi/adventure worldwide Aug. 15. Chatwin has already begun training with 87Eleven, the stunt performance company behind the action sequences in “The Matrix,” “The Bourne Supremacy,” “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” and “300.”

Chatwin’s credits include Steven Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds.”

Marsters is best known for his role as the evil vampire Spike on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel.”

Wong was an executive producer-writer on “The X-Files,” “Millennium” and “Space: Above and Beyond.” He co-wrote and directed “Final Destination” and “Final Destination 3.”

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