I guess we shouldn’t be surprised here, considering that fact that Pokemon GO has been the only thing people have talked about in the last couple weeks. The source of a bunch of (awesome) memes, and being the most downloaded app ever in just its first week, Pokemon is once again in the public eye. While big fans of the franchise have always been there playing the new releases every year (or so), Pokemon GO has enthralled an all new demographic. Hell, even my girlfriend is playing it all the time (and she hates this nerdy stuff)!
Last week, we heard rumblings that Legendary was talking about live-action Pokemon movies, something they had considered in the past but never followed through on. Today, they’ve revealed an official partnership with the Pokemon Company to bring forth an all new movie franchise based on the games. The first film will be based on Detective Pikachu, a game that’s only been release in Japan so far, and they plan on filming next year.
Legendary Entertainment and The Pokémon Company announced today they will partner to launch the first-ever Pokémon live-action film franchise based on DETECTIVE PIKACHU, a new character and story in the Pokémon universe. The world first met Detective Pikachu through a video game in Japan, and further details of how his story will be told are being kept under wraps for the moment. The film will be fast-tracked for production start in 2017.
First introduced in Japan in 1996, Pokémon has delighted fans of all ages around the world for two decades. With more than 279 million video games sold worldwide, 21.5 billion TCG cards shipped to 74 countries, and an animated series spanning 19 seasons, Pokémon is one of the most successful entertainment brands in the world.
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 iconic monster reboot for Godzilla.
The deal was brokered by Don McGowan, General Counsel at The Pokémon Company International, who led the negotiations with outside counsel Dan Black of Greenberg Traurig. Marty Willhite, Legendary’s Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel along with Daniel Feinberg, Vice President Corporate Counsel and Mike Ross, Senior Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs, represented the studio.
What do you guys think about this? I’m all for seeing some live-action Pokemon, but Detective Pikachu seems like an odd place to start…