Netflix continues to lean hard into its own new content. It’s part of the ongoing arms race among streaming platforms to develop as much programming as possible that can hit with a wide audience. And our latest exclusive has them going this way with another popular franchise. According to our trusted and proven source, the streamer is actively developing a live-action Pokemon series that will be based on the original game.
While details of this live-action Pokemon are pretty thin at this point, there is a lot to get excited about when it comes to a full series run on Netflix. The animated series, in its many iterations, is already a popular offering on the streamer with a number of different versions of the franchise’s movies and series already there. Netflix clearly understands the power and reach of the franchise which only seems to be growing in popularity (which is tough to believe) over the years through its on-screen media offerings as well as video gameplay.
And in terms of live-action Pokemon media, we already have one example of what something can look like, visually and even comedically. That’s from Detective Pikachu which came out back in 2019. The mystery/ comedy set us in a world in which Pokemons are not only real, but trainers can strive to corral the little buggers in “real life”. That was a bold undertaking considering the nature of the game and animation in general, but it totally and completely worked. Director Rob Letterman pulled off a movie that had cross-appeal to adults and kids alike, the former being important in getting kids to the theater. Ryan Reynolds voiced the titular Pikachu who sounds like “Pika-Pika” to nearly everyone except Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) who can understand the snark of the character.
Detective Pikachu was no small production, using a whopping $150 million budget to get the film up to snuff when it came to how Pikachu and the other Pokemon were used in tandem with the humans in the story. It paid off though because Detective Pikachu took in more than $430 million at the box office. It also faired well with critics with a 68% Rotten Tomatoes score. A sequel had been rumored, but there hasn’t been a ton of movement on that front. This new Netflix series might act as a stand-in for that production, giving it a longer and more detailed story.
If this new Netflix Pokemon series is based on the original game then we are likely to see many more of the actual game characters than we saw in Detective Pikachu with a chance to have character arcs around the Pocket Monsters. It could very well include much more of the training aspect as well, diving into a world in which these characters live as part of the fabric of society.
We will be sure to report additional details around this new live-action Pokemon series on Netflix as they come in. If the original movie was any indication, there is a massive and hilarious world to discover here because you know we’ve “Gotta catch them all.”