Even though it was released less than a week ago in the United States (and hasn’t been made available to worldwide audiences just yet), Nintendo and Niantic’s Pokemon Go has already seen massive success. The game trended on social media sites shortly after the app was launched for iOS and Android devices and has since become more popular than apps that have been around much longer, like the dating application Tinder.
Of course, there have been some downsides to Pokemon Go – including a recently discovered privacy issue and certain players using the game to commit armed robbery. But, on the whole, Pokemon Go has reinvigorated interest in Nintendo’s Pokemon brand, which was already well-established and massively popular around the world thanks to previous games, TV series, trading cards, etc. Now, though many studios have tried to make a Pokemon movie before, a new report suggests we may be closer than ever to seeing a live-action Pikachu on the big screen.
Deadline is reporting that Legendary Pictures, the studio behind Warcraft and Jurassic World, is nearing a deal to secure the live-action film rights to Pokemon. Neither Legendary nor Nintendo have commented on the potential deal, or whether it’s in the works at all, but Deadline reports talks are “headed that way.”
Of course, this isn’t the first time Legendary has been tied to a deal for the live-action movie rights to Pokemon. Earlier this year, reports surfaced of a bidding war for the Pokemon rights was going on between movie studios such as Warner Bros. and Sony, with Legendary entering the mix. At the time it was reported that Legendary drew interest because of the company’s work with CGI-heavy monster movies like Pacific Rim and Godzilla.
Now, considering the popularity of Pokemon Go and how quickly it has garnered that popularity – again, it’s only been a week since Nintendo and Niantic began to roll out the mobile game in select regions – it seems likely a Pokemon live-action movie has more buzz surrounding the potential project than ever before. So, though there may have been reports in the past of deals that ended up going nowhere, these particular talks between Legendary and Nintendo may come closer than ever before.
That being said, if these talks are happening – and since neither company has confirmed either way, it remains to be seen – they’re likely still in the early stages. So, even if Legendary does manage to strike a deal for the live-action Pokemon movie rights, it would likely be some time before that movie would hit theaters. Still, fans of Pokemon around the world may be hoping Legendary realizes their destiny: That they gotta catch ’em all.
We’ll keep you updated on Pokemon as more information becomes available.