This weekend past, I spent hours slooooowly cruising the streets of my neighbourhood in my dark car with tinted windows trying to catch them all as I fidgeted with an object in my left hand. No, I’m some kind of creepy sex offender, but like millions around the world right now, I’m hooked on Pokémon Go! Since launching last week, Nintendo’s latest entry in their long running video game series has become nothing short of a global cultural phenomenon, as it breaks away from traditional gameplay and actually sends players out into the real world, using a combination of augmented reality, street maps and GPS tracking on the smartphone, to find and catch Pokémon in the real world. Want that water or grass Pokémon? Better take an actual walk to the nearest river or field and check the little critter actually sitting there.
It’s this combination of addictive collection game play and actual real world interaction that has driven the game to become one of the biggest crazes in the world right now. And it appears that Hollywood has noticed as Deadline is reporting that Legendary Pictures is now possibly looking to develop a live-action Pokémon movie. You would need to be a Slowpoke to not see the correlation between the game’s booming popularity right now, and the franchise’s sudden movie making potential. At this point there’s nothing further when it comes to details, as Legendary still need to actually acquire the film rights to the franchise. But they are damn sure interested, and you can bet that they want to strike while the iron is hot.
Pokémon began back in 1996 with the first title released by on the Game Boy, which followed young boy Ash, a fledgling trainer on a global quest to find Pokémon – cute little creatures hiding in the world – to capture, train and pit in battle against other trainers to determine who’s the best Pokémon Master in the world. Since then the franchise has spawned numerous titles on just about every gaming platform imaginable, and was also developed into a hugely popular anime series. This series would spin off 19 animated movies as well, so this franchise is definitely no stranger to the feature film adaption. However Nothing has ever gone the live-action route before though.
Now as we all know, traditionally video game feature film adaptations are terrible. And nobody is more aware of this than Nintendo, as 1993’s Super Mario Bros is widely considered not just one of the worst examples of the genre, but also one of the worst movies of the last few decades. Nintendo was burned so badly by that Hollywood experience that they haven’t allowed Tinsel Town to touch any of their other properties since. Will Pokémon be the exception?
Legendary have already dipped their feet into the video game movie business recently with Warcraft, which has been widely reported bombed horribly in the US, but then set box office records ablaze in China – where the Warcraft game has a gigantic following – and more than likely securing its franchise future. Pokémon Go has not yet rolled out in China though, but the top game being played in the country right now is City Spirit Go, which is actually a clone of… yep, you guessed: Pokémon Go. Legendary may just be able to strike twice with this lightning – as long as they can catch that Pikachu.