With the Pokemon Go app bringing re-igniting everyone’s inner poke-trainers, it’s not surprising that talk of a movie would come up. Nothing is finalized, but rumor has it that Legendary Pictures may be pursuing the live-action video game adaption. Taking a look at the numbers Pokemon Go has generated, it’s a no-brainer as to why Legendary would make such a move. Nintendo, which only has 1/3 stake in the Pokemon company, had a stock market spike of 25% thanks to the app, adding $9 billion in market cap.There isn’t a lot of solid information out there yet, but Deadline did report that a deal may be finalized soon. While no details of said deal were given, the report claims that this could be the biggest deal for a video game adaptation ever.
Heading back into the rumor mill- no filmmakers are attached to the project yet, but Max Landis‘ (Chronicle) name has been thrown around in regards to writing the script. It’s unknown whether he is still/was ever involved. The idea of creating a Pokemon/real life hybrid film has been around for a while, even by Legendary, but things just didn’t seem to pan out. With the wildly positive reception of Pokemon Go, however, the studio may try their luck once again.
If you aren’t familiar with the Pokemon Go app responsible for the renewed interest in the Pokemon franchise, it’s a mobile app that uses the device’s camera and GPS signal to find Pokemon in real life. The app was released in celebration of the franchise’s 20th Anniversary, and has quickly reached the spot of most downloaded app in the iTunes store; downloaded over 7.5 million times via the iTunes Store and Google Play.
The franchise is no stranger to movie adaptations, in fact they’ve had more than 19 released over the past two decades, but they’ve all been fully animated. The game itself first hit the US in 1998, and Warner Bros. pioneered the first three movies state-side in 1999 (Pokemon: The First Movie, making $85.7 million domestic), 2000 ( Pokemon: The Movie 2000, making $43.7 million domestic), and 2001 (Pokemon 3: The Movie, making $17 million domestic). Dimension jumped on board as well, releasing Pokemon 4Ever in 2001 (earning $1.7 million domestic), and Pokemon Heroes in 2002 (earning $746,381 domestic). Cinedigm released Pokémon the Movie: White-Victini and Zekrom in America in 2011 for one weekend only, while its cinematic counterpart, Pokémon the Movie: Black—Victini and Reshiram, was only released in Japan.
The app has definitely been bringing the Pokemon name back into a massive amount of people’s day to day lives, but do you think that will translate into ticket sales? It’s one thing to walk around your neighborhood yourself scanning for little “pocket monsters”, but it’s another to watch a movie about Ash Ketcham doing it. Once you take away the interactivity between the user and the game, which is most likely the component that makes the app so popular, will the hype level remain the same? We’ll find out!