Nicole Perlman and Alex Hirsch have been tapped by Legendary to write the upcoming live-action Pokémon movie, based on the Great Detective Pikachu game. Negotiations are ongoing. Perlman is best known for writing Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor, and will co-write the upcoming Captain Marvel movie. Hirsch is the creator of Disney's cult favorite animated series Gravity Falls.
Legendary snapped up the film rights to Pokemon as they were being shopped around just weeks after the launch of Pokemon Go, which has brought the franchise to a whole new level of global, pop-culture awareness.
Universal will distribute the film outside of Japan, per their usual arrangement with Legendary. Toho and The Pokemon Company, longtime partners, will handle the film's distribution in Japan.
The video game that serves as the film's source material, Great Detective Pikachu, is an adventure game developed by Creatures, published by The Pokemon Company, and distributed by Nintendo. It is an adventure game spinoff for the Nintendo 3DS that puts a talking Pikachu in the role of a Sherlock Holmes type detective, investigating and solving mysteries. The game was released in Japan in February 2016.
Production on the live-action Pokemon movie is expected to begin in 2017.
In addition to writing for Marvel Studios, Perlman will also write a Marvel Comics series starring Gamora, the femme fatale of the Guardians of the Galaxy. The series, featuring art by Marco Checchetto, is expected to debut this fall as part of the Marvel NOW! initiative.
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