A new live-action Pokemon series is in the works at Netflix. Variety reported on Monday that Lucifer co-showrunner and executive producer Joe Henderson is attached to write and executive produce the series, but as it's still in its early stages, no information is yet available about the potential plot. It's reportedly a live-action series akin to Detective Pikachu, though it's not clear if the new show will be connected.
It's said that the new Pokemon series comes along as Netflix makes a harder push into producing more anime content exclusive to the streaming service. New anime-style shows based on established properties like Far Cry, Splinter Cell, and The Terminator have already been announced. Live-action adaptations of popular anime like Cowboy Bebop and One Piece are also in development. This follows Netflix developing a live-action Death Note and homing the Pokemon shows Pokemon: Indie League and Pokemon Journeys.
Along with Lucifer, Joe Henderson is also known for working on shows like 11.22.63 at Hulu and Graceland at USA Network. He is currently developing a series adaptation of the comic book Shadecraft at Netflix as well, reportedly co-writing the pilot with Georgia Lee. The two will also executive produce that project with Lee Garbett, the artist of the comic book. Henderson penned the original comic.
Launched as a video game series in 1995, Pokemon has since expanded throughout every other major medium to become one of the biggest franchises in pop culture. There have been various animated movies and series based on Pokemon, each with their own fans contributing to make Pokemon overall the highest-grossing franchise of all time. The series has also spawned the top-selling trading card game in the world with over 34 billion Pokemon cards sold.
The Pokemon series was elevated to even greater success when a live-action movie adaptation was released in 2019. Detective Pikachu, directed by Rob Letterman and starring Ryan Reynolds as the voice of Pikachu and Justice Smith as his handler, was a huge hit at the box office with $433 million earned in ticket sales. This makes it one of the highest-grossing video game adaptations of all time as well.
Despite the movie's high earnings, there's been no word about a potential sequel to Detective Pikachu, perhaps because of the apparent plans to focus on developing a live-action Pokemon series at this point. Initially, there were reports before Detective Pikachu's release that Oren Uziel would be writing a sequel, but back in May, Smith said that the chances were starting to look slimmer.
"I would love to participate in Detective Pikachu 2," Smith said, via Inverse. "I don't know if it's going to happen. I think we have to just kind of bury our hopes. I don't think it's going to happen. I really hope so though. Honestly, I'm such a huge fan, who knows, who knows? I hope so."
There's no information on who might star in the Pokemon series or if Ryan Reynolds may potentially return as Pikachu. Likewise, a release date hasn't yet been announced by Netflix. This news comes to us from Variety.