×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Pokemon Live-Action Movie a Go at Legendary

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.

More Film

  • Clark Gable III

    Clark Gable's Grandson, Who Hosted 'Cheaters,' Found Dead at 30

    Clark Gable’s grandson, Clark Gable III, died on Friday morning at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, Variety confirmed with the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office. He was 30. “It’s is with an extremely heavy heart we say goodbye to my beautiful son Clark,” his mother wrote on Instagram. “He passed this morning. I will always [...]

  • You Were Never Really Here If

    Film Independent's Spirit Awards Fly the Flag for Indie Film

    As the 2018 awards season marches slowly into its final days, only a handful of honors remain undistributed after some of the most volatile and contentious campaigns in years. Front-runners have come and gone in one major category after the next, as each guild and critics group announced different winners than its predecessors, demolishing expectations [...]

  • A Quiet Place

    John Krasinski Returning to Direct 'A Quiet Place' Sequel

    John Krasinski is returning to direct the untitled sequel to Paramount’s horror hit “A Quiet Place.” Krasinski revealed the news Friday via an Instagram post that said “…time to go back. #PartII 5-15-20”; the post showed the red lights that became synonymous with the alien threats in the first movie. “A Quiet Place” starred Krasinski, Emily [...]

  • Red Carpet Guide to the Bowtie

    Five Tips to a Perfect Bow Tie on Oscar Night

    Warren Alfie Baker is always on the hunt for just the right bow tie. He’s a Hollywood stylist who helps keep such clients as Lucas Hedges, Norman Reedus and Harry Shum Jr. looking sharp. “It seems like the easiest thing to sort out, but so many mistakes can be made,” Baker tells Variety. And the [...]

  • Francois Ozon's 'The Grace Of God'

    Francois Ozon's 'By The Grace Of God' Delivers Strong B.O. Opening in France

    Rolling off its triumph at the Berlin Film Festival where it won the Silver Bear, François Ozon’s Catholic church sexual abuse drama By “The Grace Of God” had a strong theatrical bow in France where it sold nearly 50,000 tickets on 290 screens on Feb. 20, its first day out One of the best opening [...]

  • David Oyelowo Peter Rabbit 2

    David Oyelowo Joins the Cast of Sony's 'Peter Rabbit' Sequel (EXCLUSIVE)

    Golden Globe nominee David Oyelowo is set to join the cast of Sony Pictures’ “Peter Rabbit 2,” the live-action hybrid sequel to the 2018 family hit, sources tell Variety. He joins Rose Byrne and Domhnall Gleeson, who are returning from the first film, as is James Corden in the voice of the mischievous Peter Rabbit. [...]

  • Luke Wilson Zombieland 2

    Luke Wilson Joins 'Zombieland' Sequel (EXCLUSIVE)

    Luke Wilson is set to join the ensemble of the upcoming “Zombieland” sequel, sources tell Variety. Wilson will star alongside Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin in “Zombieland 2.” As previously reported, Zoey Deutch, Thomas Middleditch, and Rosario Dawson are also boarding the cast. In the sequel, the zombie slayers must face [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content