Legendary Pictures partners with The Pokemon Company to produce Detective Pikachu. The proposed film will see the two companies work together on the first live-action movie in the Pokemon franchise’s history.
The announcement comes a couple weeks after the successful launch of Pokemon GO, an app that allows users to catch Pokemon in an augmented reality setting. With interest in the franchise revived, Legendary has jumped at the opportunity to capitalize on said interest, fast-tracking production for the film to begin sometime in 2017.
While Detective Pikachu will hardly be the first feature-length Pokemon film, it will be the first live-action one. Previous Pokemon productions such as Pokemon: The First Movie and Pokemon 2000 were animated, rendering the decision to make Detective Pikachu live-action a very significant one. Additionally, the movie will also introduce a new character in an original story, although details about either are unknown at this point:
Universal Pictures will handle distribution of the live-action film outside Japan as it has done with Legendary’s other films for years. The Pokémon Company’s long time movie collaborator, Toho, will handle distribution of the film franchise in Japan, as it had similarly done in its partnership with Legendary on the iconic monster reboot for Godzilla.
The deal was brokered by Don McGowan, General Counsel at The Pokémon Company International, who led the negotiations with outside counsel Dan Black of Greenberg Traurig. Marty Willhite, Legendary’s Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel along with Daniel Feinberg, Vice President Corporate Counsel and Mike Ross, Senior Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs, represented the studio.
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