Pokemon Live-Action Movie a Go at Legendary

Pokemon Movie
TV Tokyo

Legendary Entertainment has won the rights to a Pokemon movie and is partnering with the Pokémon Company to launch the first live-action Pokemon film franchise with a “Detective Pikachu” movie.

Legendary said details are being kept under wraps but added that the film will be fast-tracked for production to start in 2017. Detective Pikachu is a new character in the Pokemon universe, introduced through a video game in Japan.

The deal comes two weeks after the Pokemon Go app game was released and became a worldwide phenomenon, so much so that it led to a 25% jump in the stock of part owner Nintendo. The augmented reality game allows players to capture, battle and train the Pokemon virtual creatures.

Pokémon was introduced in Japan in 1996 and has sold 279 million video games worldwide with 21.5 billion cards shipped to 74 countries, and an animated series spanning 19 seasons. The hugely popular Pokemon Go app recently saw the pocket monsters surge back into the pop culture consciousnesses.

Universal Pictures will handle distribution of the live-action film outside Japan as it has done with Legendary’s other films for years.

The Pokémon Company’s long time movie collaborator, Toho, will handle distribution of the film franchise in Japan, as it had similarly done in its partnership with Legendary on the reboot for the Godzilla franchise.

Legendary was acquired in January by Chinese entertainment giant Wanda for $3.5 billion. The Pokemon movie deal is the third major project it’s acquired in less than a month, following the June 23 purchase of “Bad Blood,” starring Jennifer Lawrence, and an untitled project set up this week for “The Birth of a Nation” producer-director Nate Parker.

The Pokemon deal was brokered by Don McGowan at The Pokémon Company International, who led the negotiations with outside counsel Dan Black of Greenberg Traurig. Marty Willhite, Daniel Feinberg and Mike Ross represented the studio.

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  1. tarrabyte says:

    This is going to be interesting. I don’t want an Ash movie, I want a Pokemon movie. Pokemon on youtube is doing the Generations and we have Origin. I hope that this is ACTUALLY good. If Legendary is doing it, then I’d assume so.

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  3. MrProofMan says:

    Really? Come on.

    We’ve been begging for a live-action film for years. Something to finally bring respect to video games in the film industry. And we get this silliness? Why not a legit main series adaptation? Red and Blue? A big screen walk-through of the original Kanto adventure? So much of that is cinematic gold!

  4. Detective fiction
    Detective fiction is a subgenre of crime fiction and mystery fiction in which an investigator or a detective—either professional or amateur—investigates a crime, often murder

  5. Alyssa says:

    Pokemon is a phenomenon, but this is a mistake. Pokemon has created a BILLION dollar industry based a simple stratagem. This stupid Detective Pikachu game is one, TINY iteration of the Pokemon universe and if this is what Legendaey chooses to do with what must be the very expensive rights to this franchise, then they deserve the box office bomb coming their way. They probably think their target audience is a bunch of 8 year olds when in reality it is 16-30 year olds.

  6. That's What She says:

    This is getting made because of a fad? When does Planking: The Movie get made?

  7. Rhuen says:

    On the list of ways to do a Pokémon movie wrong we have the (base it on a spin-off that has none of the core world elements). Worst yet is the obvious reason why they’d want to go with a cutesy concept like “Detective Pikachu” instead of the core series. Wanting to avoid the (this promotes animal abuse) and (dog-fighting) type crowds who always come out in force for live theatrical movies *but mostly ignore straight to video and especially anime* except when they hugely popular.

    • Florian says:

      Let me guess… you never played Detective Pikachu and don’t know how serious the game is? Cutesy? The game is in not really cutesy… why do you think so? Just because Pikachu is an detective?

  8. FigureGunplaFan says:

    Since Legendary has collaborated with Toho to make the 2014 Godzilla movie, IDK how this turns out.

  9. Alex says:

    You’ve raped the English language, Pokémon. Now, you’re going to sexually defile the movies. I curse you.

  10. Jason Yanes says:

    Get Danny Devito to voice Detective Pikachu stat! this is what we have been campaigning for! If not for the game at least for this movie! With the incredible and immediate success, revenue, popularity and influence Pokemon Go has rolled in with 7.5million$ in only 2 days, it surely must be possible to get him to play the role that a large amount of the fan base has persistently requested.

  11. Joe emel says:

    So with the pokemon go craze and the amount of money you could make if you made a serious pokemon movie, you want to make “detective pikachu”… its such a foolish idea, and in fact its going to ruin the possibility of good live action movies if its bad enough…

    • Florian says:

      You know that Detective Pikachu is a serious game? It’s not as childish as it may sound.

    • It’s not foolish at all. There’s always the worry that the mass audience simply won’t understand a mainstream Pokemon movie. If you make a movie like this beforehand, you present the universe without confusing the average viewer. You can then introduce other aspects of the Pokemon franchise in later films, such as battles, gyms, and leagues.

      • legerprime says:

        I agree. I was hoping they’d do an original movie with a new protagonist trainer or even a MewTwo movie

      • Benjamin says:

        It’s pretty foolish. I saw make the movie off of how the main line Pokémon games go. They introduce the world of Pokémon pretty flawlessly and would not confuse the average viewer at all. Going with and blessing Detective Pikachu with a the first live action Pokémon movie is most likely a mistake and a bad idea to introduce the world of Pokémon to the world.

  12. Dark Claw says:

    Are you kidding me!?!?! “Detective Pikachu”!!?!?!? That will be like starting a Super Mario franchise with the first movie being “Dr.Mario”!!! That doesn´t make ANY sense!!!

    • Florian says:

      Do you really thing the avaerage viewer want to see a 1 year old kid going from gym to gym and collecting badges to challange the league? Let me say it stright… that’s not something the average viewer want to see.

    • legerprime says:

      I agree. I was hoping they’d do an original movie with a new protagonist trainer or even a MewTwo movie

    • It establishes the universe without confusing the average viewer. It’s a pretty good idea.

      • Benjamin says:

        The same could be said with making the live action Pokémon movie with the an similar plot with the games. It’s a pretty weak argument to say that it wouldn’t confuse the average viewer and that it would establish the universe . Especially considering it will do worst to establish the universe with Detective Pikachu than it would going the regular route like with a plot of one of the main line games or the show.

  13. Ted Nugent says:

    Ryan Potter was born to be Ash (and Kaneda in Akira).

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