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Rob Letterman to Direct ‘Pokemon’ Live-Action Movie for Legendary

Rob Letterman has been tapped to direct the “Pokemon” movie “Detective Pikachu” for Legendary, sources confirmed to Variety.

Nicole Perlman and Alex Hirsch penned the script for the live-action film.

The news comes following the announcement that the company landed the rights to the “Pokemon” franchise after they were shopped around in early July. That deal came two weeks after the Pokemon Go app 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.

The hugely popular Pokemon Go app recently saw the pocket monsters surge back into the pop culture consciousnesses. Pokemon 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.

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

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

Letterman is also attached to direct the “Dungeons and Dragons” movie for Warner Bros. He is repped by WME.

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