A Live-Action 'Pokémon' Movie Is Happening Because of 'Pokémon Go'

Published On 07/21/2016 Published On 07/21/2016
Pokemon Go inspires Detective Pikachu movie

Given the runaway success of Pokémon Go, a live-action Pokémon movie is inevitable. The game's dense mythology, action-filled battles, and cute characters are perfect for the type of "cinematic-universe" world-building that's now the norm for big-budget Hollywood franchises. But the movie we might end up getting isn't quite the Pokémon movie you're expecting -- it might not even have Pokémon in the title at all!

Yesterday, Deadline confirmed that Legendary Entertainment will produce a Pokémon movie based on Detective Pikachu, a spin-off handheld video game that has only been released in Japan. The plan is for the movie to go into production next year.

But here's the thing: Detective Pikachu is really bizarre! He wears a little brown Sherlock Holmes hat, enjoys coffee, and solves crimes, things people don't really associate with Pokémon Go or the popular animated series inspired by the original game. Seriously, it's nuts. Watch a trailer for the game below.


The game definitely has a stylish, noir sensibility that could translate to film. Think of it like Inherent Vice but with Pikachu instead of Joaquin Phoenix. Some fans have already been making a strong push for Danny DeVito to voice Detective Pikachu in the English-language version of the game, leading to absurd videos like this.

Maybe the plan is to make Detective Pikachu first, and then expand with other Pokémon specific films --Jigglypuff in a rom-com; Kadabra in a thriller; Mr. Mime in a backstage drama; then they all meet up years later for an Avengers-style team-up blockbuster. The possibilities are endless! Or will be, when Detective Pikachu -- or whatever Pokémon Go-inspired movie we get -- finally hits theaters.

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Dan Jackson is a staff writer at Thrillist Entertainment. He's on Twitter: @danielvjackson.



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