The recent resurgence of the Pokemon franchise through the Pokemon Go app has breathed life into the reported live-action movie, with Deadline reporting that Legendary Pictures is the frontrunner to acquire the rights of the project.
Pokemon became a worldwide phenomenon in the 1990s. Nintendo first released the two base games – Pokemon Red and Green (and Blue in Japan) – in 1996, and from there the franchise has spawned into a long-running game and anime series, and has also produced trading cards, pinball, merchandise, clothing, and events around the world.
The franchise already has five theatrical releases – beginning with Pokemon: The First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back in 1999 – two television specials and ten Pikachu shorts. All of these are animated, so an attempt at a live-action version of the franchise will be interesting to see- the show already had a brief and ill-fated live stage-show back in 2000-2001.
Deadline have reported that: “Details are scant at this point, and no deal has been closed, but I am persuaded that it’s headed that way. Attempted to get comment from Legendary were unavailing, and calls to Pokemon USA were not returned.”
Sony Pictures and Warner Bros are also in the running, but all signs seem to be pointing towards Legendary Pictures attaining the rights to the franchise.
Watch the trailer for Pokemon: The First Movie below.