You know when you did something horrible seven years ago, and you realize it’s finally time to apologize? Well, so does Ben Ramsey. He wrote the lowly regarded Dragonball Evolution and he is sorry, okay?
Dragonball fan and writer Derek Padula contacted Ramsey in the hopes of interviewing him for a book he’s writing. He got back an apology addressed to all the fans, everywhere, which Padula published on his website:
I knew that it would eventually come down to this one day. Dragonball Evolution marked a very painful creative point in my life. To have something with my name on it as the writer be so globally reviled is gut wrenching. To receive hate mail from all over the world is heartbreaking. I spent so many years trying to deflect the blame, but at the end of the day it all comes down to the written word on page and I take full responsibility for what was such a disappointment to so many fans. I did the best I could, but at the end of the day, I ‘dropped the dragon ball.’
I went into the project chasing after a big payday, not as a fan of the franchise but as a businessman taking on an assignment. I have learned that when you go into a creative endeavor without passion you come out with sub-optimal results, and sometimes flat out garbage. So I’m not blaming anyone for Dragonball but myself. As a fanboy of other series, I know what it’s like to have something you love and anticipate be so disappointing.
To all the Dragon Ball fans out there, I sincerely apologize.
I hope I can make it up to you by creating something really cool and entertaining that you will like and that is also something I am passionate about. That’s the only work I do now.
Not only is it rare for people in Hollywood to apologize, it’s even rarer for them to flat-out admit that they did something for the paycheck. True, the fact that he wasn’t a fan really, really showed—but it’s not always a requirement that someone involved in an adaptation be a huge fan. Sometimes that can lead to an inability to recognize what changes need to be made for the new project to succeed. On the other hand, it’s better if they have some familiarity, as well as respect for the material, which was certainly missing from Dragonball Evolution.
Just remember, while Ramsey is taking the blame here, never forget that he couldn’t have made it a disaster all on his own. It took a lot of people and a major studio (Fox) making every possible bad decision to end up with Dragonball Evolution. But at least you can cross Ramsey off your shitlist now.