I've been thinking how a live action DBZ movie could work, and I think they had a good idea when they made [that one movie I refuse to name] by starting it from the beginning so it could be a saga rather than a standalone movie. But it was just so poorly executed. Besides, the charm of Dragon Ball Z is that it can stand on its own without Dragon Ball. So what I am proposing is a Cinematic Universe, not unlike Marvel's. But done more like the Star Wars movies. Starting with the DBZ movies, then we can sprinkle in Dragon Ball, as well as some different origin stories and adaptations of the animated movies.
I've already given you a preliminary Cast List
Here is my plan for the movies:DBZ 1: Wrath of the Saiyans/Savage Encounter
Basically the arrival of Raditz, then later Nappa and Vegeta.DBZ 2: The Space Tyrant
The Namek and Frieza sagas obviously.Dragon Ball Z: Saiyan Pride [Anthology 1]
History of the Saiyans and their oppression under Frieza. Include Bardock, King Vegeta, possibly even Turles to make things interesting, Paragus and Broly, Raditz. Ends with Kakarot landing on Earth.DBZ 3: Android Attack
The movie could end with Piccolo "disappearing" when he goes to the lookout, and the androids, unopposed, unleashing on the world. The post-credits stinger would follow Bulma as she discovers a mysterious shell in the woods...Dragon Ball Z: Saiyan Extinction [Anthology 2]
Begin with Cooler looking for revenge for Frieza's death. Could be on Earth or Namek. These movies will need to be reimagined some to be more cohesive. Later, the real threat becomes Turles and Broly.DBZ 4: A Fierce Creature/Cell games part 1
Think of this, the movie begins as a horror flick with a disgusting creature sneaking around and sucking people out of their clothes. Enter Super Piccolo.
I imagine the Cell saga could probably be split in two. The first one ending once Cell absorbs Android #18. Could possibly have him Kill Trunks right away after that for trying to interfere. Honestly Trunks is pretty useless after this part anyway. It would add a little shock, and some anger for Vegeta that comes later on in the anime.DBZ 5: Cell part 2
It might be a bit slow, so I would be okay with mixing in a Broly visit or something while the fighters wait for the Games to begin.Dragon Ball Z: Shattered Times [Anthology 3]
The alternate future of Trunks and Gohan, along with future Trunks allying with our timeline and coming back to defeat the androids.DBZ 6: Buu/Cosmic Destruction part 1
This movie would begin as an old school superhero movie, with a masked man named The Great Saiyaman saving citizens of Satan City. Mix in Videl, the World Tournament Saga, and Babidi's minions. Perhaps the first part of this saga ends with Vegeta's sacrifice.Dragon Ball Z: The History of Buu [Anthology 4]
Story of the ancient Kais, and a wizard named Bibidi.DBZ 7: Buu part 2
Basically the part where everyone fails and Goku has to save the world again.Dragon Ball Z: Wrath of the Dragon/Fusion Reborn [Anthology 5]
I think these are two of the best movies, and should definitely be adapted. Whether they are somehow combined, or they do them both, separately is a decision for a later time.
And with DBZ complete, now it is time to tell the prequel story...Dragon Ball: Origins
Story of Kami/Piccolo arriving on earth as a child and growing up. In depth history of the dragon balls and Kami's lookout.Dragon Ball: The Turtle Master
Goku training under Roshi/meeting Bulma and gathering the Dragon Balls.Dragon Ball: RR
Defeating the Red Ribbon Army/meeting Chi Chi.Dragon Ball: King Piccolo
Tournament vs Tien/Piccolo/beating new Piccolo and marrying Chi Chi.
The Dragon Ball story would have to be shifted around to cut out irrelevant parts, and I could see another origin story or anthology somewhere, but I couldn't think of one.