Pokemon. That franchise that does those video games, trading cards, animated TV series, movies, comic books and toys?
Pokemon, the second most successful video-game based media franchise in the world? Pokemon, the one that grossed a net revenue over 4.6 billion US dollars and has sold over 20 million video game copies?
Maybe you’re more familiar with the game ‘Pokemon Go’, which (fun fact) has had 891 total downloads in the past 10 seconds it’s taken you to read this first paragraph. Well, if somehow you’re still unsure of what Pokemon is, simply go to the nearest park and ask any stranger on their phone – actually don’t do that.
The legendary Pokemon Company has teamed up with major entertainment company ‘Legendary Entertainment’ (pun intended) to launch the first ever live-action Pokemon film franchise with a movie called Detective Pikachu.
The deal comes as no surprise, two weeks after the mobile game Pokemon Go was released, which sparked a worldwide phenomenon, seeing these pocket monsters bolt back into pop culture, so much so that it led to a 25% spike in co-owner Nintendo stock; to all those who invested prior, well played (another intended pun).
Pokémon Go. Source: Nintendo
Detective Pikachu is a relatively new character in the Pokemon universe, released earlier this year through a new Pokemon video game in Japan.
The video game’s story is focused on the iconic yellow electric character who teams up with a boy named Tim in search for the boy’s missing father.
Legendary Entertainment are really keeping things under wraps at this point in time, so assumptions can’t exactly be made on whether the live action film will follow in the game’s narrative footsteps. Regardless of the plot, it can be deduced that this will not be your regular Pokemon film. Unlike past Pokemon movies, this one will not be an animated spinoff from the television series and may potentially be even more mature than its animated counterpart.
Funnily enough, rumors of a Pokemon live action movie have been circulating for quite some time now, even prior to Pokemon Go’s world storm.
It’s been rumoured that Netflix were also once on board looking to sign a deal with Pokemon Company. But right in the mist of the mobile game’s success, Legendary took a firmer approach and quickly cut a deal for the movie franchise.
The Pokemon Company’s longtime movie collaborator Toho is set to handle distribution of the film franchise within Japan, while Universal have taken up the chance to be part of the action and distribute to all other countries.
Production is set to take place in late 2017, which is definitely not a bad idea for Legendary Entertainment to fast track its making, aiming to jump on board the recent Pokemon-crazy trend before it dies down again.