Why A Live-Action Pokemon Movie May Not Be Happening Anytime Soon


Pokemon is currently the hottest thing in the world. As such, we'd expect the brand to get plastered all over everything that pop culture can get its hands on, so what does that mean for a Pokemon movie? While you might expect that the resurgence in Pokemon popularity might lead to fast tracking things like movies, it appears that the companies behind the Pokemon brand are so busy with Pokemon Go that they simply don't have the time to talk about other projects right now.

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last week, you know that the new mobile game Pokemon Go has pretty much taken over the world. Actually, even if you live under a rock you probably know this, because somebody came by and checked under that rock looking for Pokemon. While it initially looked like the Pokemon craze was going to lead to a fast-tracking of a new western film, The Hollywood Reporter says that the game's popularity is actually the reason we're less likely to see a Pokemon movie. According to one unnamed producer with interests in the film rights, Nintendo and The Pokemon Company only see a movie deal as a distraction.

Pokemon Co. and Nintendo are not focused on movie rights currently, [and] the company doesn't want a movie deal distracting its execs, nor does it want a deal to potentially detract from the game. They view a movie deal only as a downside at this stage.

It's not surprising. A licensing deal for a Pokemon movie is likely only worth $5 to $10 million, rough estimate. Since Pokemon Go is estimated to bring in over $1 million per day in the US alone, a movie seems like a lot of effort for very limited returns.

Just because the people in charge aren't super excited to get a movie deal going doesn't mean the movie studios won't continue to try. At last word, it was reported that Legendary, Sony, and Warner Bros. were all interested in closing a deal for a new movie. While Nintendo may not be looking too closely at a Pokemon movie right now, we know that they have become more interested in movie deals in recent months, so when the initial blitz dies down, we have to assume that Pokemon could be one of the first brands to get the movie treatment.

Of course, the longer that people wait, the more difficult it could be to make the movie happen. While Pokemon fever doesn't look ready to break anytime soon, it's impossible to know just how long Pokemon Go will remain as popular as it is right now. Certainly, over the period of time that it would take to make a movie happen, the excitement will have to wane somewhat. By the time a movie was made, would anybody still care?

Do you think putting off other plans to focus on the Pokemon Go is the right move, or should everybody be striking while the iron is red hot? Let us know in the comments.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.