Though it’s unquestionably one of the most enduringly popular entertainment brands of the late-20th and early-21st Century, there’s no question that the past year has been an absolutely massive comeback for Nintendo’s Pokemon franchise. Not only is the property an even more pervasive global phenomenon than ever thanks to the unprecedented success of Pokemon GO, but a Hollywood bidding war was underway for the rights to a live-action feature film months before the record-shattering mobile app was released.
Now, we know who will be scripting the upcoming feature – a pair of veterans from two other celebrated series.
According to a report by Variety, Nicole Perlman and Alex Hirsch are in negotiations to write the screenplay for the first ever live-action Pokemon movie, the rights to which were acquired by Thomas Tull’s Legendary Pictures after a months-long bidding war among Hollywood’s top studios. Cast, director and overall story information have yet to be determined for the feature, which is expected to shoot in English despite being inspired by a Japanese video games series.
Perlman is best known for her work on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where she wrote the original script for Guardians of The Galaxy and is currently scripting the hotly-anticipated feature Captain Marvel. While Guardians was extensively rewritten by director James Gunn upon boarding the project, it was Perlman’s initial treatment that had convinced Marvel to produce a feature based on the obscure space-faring characters during their Phase 2 production schedule – ultimately resulting in one of their biggest hits to date.
Hirsch is the creator of the recently-concluded cult-hit animated series Gravity Falls, which focused on a pair of children investigating supernatural phenomena in an isolated rural community while working a summer job at a local tourist trap. The series ran for 2 seasons before closing out with a 68 hour marathon on DisneyXD leading up to its finale, though Hircsh has stated an interest in reviving the characters in another form.
An impressive 18 feature-length anime films have been produced in Japan and released to theaters since 1998’s Pokemon: The First Movie (with 19th installment Volcanion and the Exquisite Magearna having bowed on July 16th of this year with a U.S. release still to be determined), all based on the long-running animated TV series. The new film is expected to be based on the upcoming spin-off game, Great Detective Pikachu, which eschews the traditional creature-collecting gameplay of the main series in favor of mystery-solving and features a “talking” cousin of franchise mascot Pikachu.
We’ll keep you updated on the Pokemon Detective Pikachu movie as more information becomes available.