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Legendary Acquires Live-Action Pokémon Film Rights With Production Starting in 2017

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Film will be based on Detective Pikachu character; TOHO, Universal Pictures to distribute film

Legendary Entertainment and The Pokémon Company announced on Thursday that Legendary Entertainment's film division Legendary Pictures has acquired the live-action film rights for the Pokémon franchise. The film will start production in 2017, and will feature the Detective Pikachu character, which debuted in the Meitantei Pikachu Nintendo 3DS game earlier this year in February.

TOHO will distribute the film in Japan, while Universal Pictures will distribute the film outside of Japan.

Deadline reported last week that Legendary had been "moving towards a deal" to acquire the rights. The Hollywood Reporter reported in April that Legendary Entertainment, Warner Bros., and Sony were engaged in an auction for the rights. Warner already released several of the animated Pokémon films, starting with Pokémon: The First Movie in North American theaters in 1999. Warner then released Pokémon 2000 - The Movie and 2001's Pokémon 3 - The Movie.

Chinese company Dalian Wanda Group recently acquired a majority stake in Legendary Entertainment in January.

The Pokémon Go app launched on July 6 in select countries, and was followed by a rise in Nintendo stock.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter (Rebecca Ford, Kim Masters)

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