Live-action fan films seem to be all the rage these days. From Joseph Kahn’s racy Power Rangers short to Robot Underdog’s live-action version of Dragon Ball‘s android saga, and the Frieza short by Australian group Deerstalker pictures, this year has seen its fair share of impressive and surprising projects.
This time it’s French group Black Smoke Films, who has chosen adapt the Cell saga into a story called “The Fall of Men”, which you can watch in its entirety above.
Like Robot Underdog’s outing, it takes place within Trunks’ alternate future timeline, where there’s plenty of room to interpret and re-imagine events with a darker tone. However, Black Smoke’s outing is much more ambitious in length, clocking in at 29 minutes, and centers around a more difficult-to-execute villain (a 20-something in jeans won’t quite cut it here).
Says the creator Black Smoke Films:
The World isn’t like it’s supposed to be.
Something happened along the way.
With these words TRUNKS reminds himself the arrival of CELL, the loss of his friends and his training for combat. While he knows he doesn’t have any chance, he will try to make the difference and bring back the lost hope.
This Fan Fiction was born from our desire to adapt DRAGON BALL Z into a film, while adopting a dramatic and realistic approach. THE FALL OF MEN is set in different future, inspired by characters of the DBZ saga, this untold story pays tribute to AKIRA TORIYAMA’s universe.
Compared to other anime fan films, “The Fall of Men” makes a number of visual alterations to make things more believable in a live-action context. Bulma’s hair isn’t green, Trunk’s hair isn’t purple, and Cell doesn’t have lips, even in his evolved forms… a fact that Team Four Star’s version of the character would find quite horrifying. Some fans will hate these changes, while others will feel that it would have looked cheesy without them.
Overall, it’s pretty impressive for a fan production of rather difficult-to-adapt material. Future Trunks’ apocalyptic sci-fi world is a veritable gold mine of dark “what if” side stories, and Black Smoke has exploited this fact effectively. The special effects alone would make it an entertaining enough watch for most fans… What’s more surprising is that the man playing Trunks is responsible for the vast majority of the flick’s 29 minutes worth of lines, and actually has the acting chops to shoulder such a responsibility.
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