Ever since the massive success of the mobile game “Pokémon Go,” there have been many developments of people trying to capture the same level of success. None may be more intriguing than the prospect of a live-action film adaptation of the “Pokémon” franchise from Legendary Pictures.
The film is planned to be based on the spinoff video game “Detective Pikachu,” which has already proven to be a success in its native country of Japan, creating persistent talk of its own for an international release. Though previous live-action adaptations of anime and video games have had an admittedly shaky track record, the 20th anniversary of the “Pokémon” series has generated considerable amounts of hype for the project.
The film currently has two writers of considerable talent attached to the script: Alex Hirsch, creator of the hit Disney TV show “Gravity Falls,” and Nicole Perlman, co-writer of Marvel’s blockbuster adaptation of “Guardians of the Galaxy.” With the current level of special effects technology, it would be feasible to convincingly show Pikachu and numerous other Pokémon in the same manner as Rocket Raccoon and Groot.
While not much is known about the film in this current stage of development, it has the potential to be a massive success. Despite the earlier “Pokémon” films being roundly panned by critics, the first three films made large amounts of money at the box office. “Pokémon: The First Movie,” “Pokémon The Movie 2000,” and “Pokémon 3,” as well the numerous sequels have been favorably-received by fans.
As part of Nintendo’s plan to get directly involved in making movies, the “Detective Pikachu” film could be the first of many successful projects of a franchise in the vein of “Star Wars” or the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If all else fails, it’s hard to imagine the film being worse than the infamous live-action “Super Mario Bros.” movie from 1993.
The latest animated “Pokémon” film, “Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel” is expected to come to Cartoon Network soon. It’s clear that the “Pokémon” series has been able to do big-budget, feature-length versions of its premise for a long time. In an age where other franchises such as “Transformers,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and “Power Rangers” can be turned into nostalgic, effects-driven blockbusters, Legendary Pictures could easily make use of the established fan-base at their disposal, as well as appeal to a new generation of fans. Above all, be sure to keep an eye out for “Detective Pikachu” as more information comes through.
Gotta catch it in theaters!
Editorial by Steven Pryor