Last week the wildly popular Pokemon Go app launched, which has been so successful that Nintendo's stock jumped a massive 25%. The big boost added more than $9 billion in revenue to the company, even though it only has a 1/3 stake in the Pokemon company. Over the span of just a few short days, Pokemon fever is certainly sweeping the world, and now we have word that a new Pokemon movie may be coming from Legendary Pictures. While nothing is finalized yet, a new report claims that Legendary is moving towards a deal for a new live-action video game adaptation.
Deadline reports that a deal may be finalized soon, which would be a huge project for Legendary and its new owners, the Chinese company Wanda Group, which purchased the studio for $3.5 billion last year. While no details about the impending deal have been given, this report claims that it could be the biggest deal for a video game adaptation ever. No filmmakers are attached yet, but there have been rumors of a live-action Pokemon movie swirling for quite some time.
One early rumor claimed that Max Landis (Chronicle) came aboard to write the script, but it isn't known if he is still involved. Legendary had been circling the property earlier this year, but that deal didn't work out, but after the success of Pokemon Go, the studio is trying to make a deal once again. It isn't known if this movie project will feature the Pokemon Go game at all, which brings the game into the "real world."
Pokemon Go is an augmented reality app for mobile devices that allows users to hunt for Pokemon, which is short for "pocket monsters," in their own neighborhoods. The app uses the device's camera to search for these digital creatures in the real world. The app is currently the most downloaded in the iTunes store, and the app has been reportedly downloaded more than 7.5 million times through both the iTunes Store and Google Play for Android devices. The app's release comes as the franchise celebrates its 20th Anniversary, with the celebration kicking off earlier this year with a new Super Bowl commercial.
The game first launched in the U.S. in 1998 with a pair of titles for Nintendo's Gameboy handheld console, and there have been more than 19 animated movies released over the past two decades. Warner Bros. released the first three movies that premiered in the U.S., 1999's Pokemon: The First Movie ($85.7 million domestic), 2000's Pokemon: The Movie 2000 ($43.7 million domestic) and 2001's Pokemon 3: The Movie ($17 million domestic). Dimension released Pokemon 4Ever ($1.7 million domestic) in 2001, followed by 2002's Pokemon Heroes ($746,381). In 2011, another Pokemon movie entitled Pokémon the Movie: White--Victini and Zekrom was released in theaters for one weekend only through Cinedigm. With the resurgence of the franchise thanks to Pokemon Go, this new project could certainly be a massive blockbuster.