Pokémon Go is already one of the biggest blockbusters of the summer, but it is inspiring the film industry to get on board with the pocket-monster brand.
Legendary Entertainment, the company responsible for Pacific Rim and Jurassic World, has won the rights to make a Pokémon movie, according to a report from Variety. Unlike the previous films, this new one is a live-action take on the creature-catching universe that will follow the adventures of Detective Pikachu. Nintendo and The Pokémon company released a game starring its yellow-electric rat mascot as a gumshoe in Japan earlier this year called Great Detective Pikachu for the 3DS, and now that character is getting the full Hollywood treatment.
Pokémon Go revived the interest in this franchise after rocketing to the top of the grossing charts in the $36.9 billion mobile gaming industry. It is the fastest-growing app in the history of iOS or Android. That success has rubbed off on other, tangentially related products like GPS-faking apps and maps that track the location of rare pocket monsters. Companies like Razer are hoping to launch entirely new products built around something like Pokémon Go.
Detective Pikachu, which is the working title, will move into production in 2017, Legendary confirmed. The company clearly wants to capitalize on the popularity of the brand, which is not in danger of dissipating even if Pokémon Go is a passing fad. The franchise has generated $45 billion in sales over the last 20 years from its games, entertainment products, and merchandise. It continues to pull in new, young fans with each new entry in the role-playing game series on the Nintendo 3DS handhelds, and that will likely continue when Sun and Moon — the latest sequels — debut this fall.