A new report featured a promising update on a live-action take on the world of Pokemon coming from Netflix.
With Hollywood quickly jumping on the video game adaptation bandwagon with the likes of The Last of Us and The Super Mario Bros. Movie, it felt like only a matter of time before Pokemon got a similar treatment.
Nintendo’s classic monster-collecting franchise has become one of the biggest pop culture properties of all time. The series dipped its toes into live-action with 2019’s Detective Pikachu film, but nothing on that front has been mentioned since.
That was until it was revealed (via Variety) that Netflix was planning a live-action take on the series, which has been in development since at least June 2021.
A Netflix Pokemon Update
According to popular movie pundit Kristian Harloff, Netflix is in the process of “going from development to pre-production” on a live-action Pokemon series.
Harloff tweeted that the streamer sees the project as their next flagship title after Stranger Things comes to an end with its upcoming fifth season:
“Things I am hearing: Netflix is weighing going from development to pre-production on a live action Pokemon series. It’s set to be their next flagship after ‘Stranger Things.’ This is also why Ash’s story in the anime came to an end.”
This comes after longtime Pokemon anime protagonist, Ash Ketchum, was sunsetted from the animated series after 25 years, in a farewell season titled Pokemon Ultimate Journey: The Series.
A new anime from the franchise is on the way with entirely new heroes, following Ash’s departure from the story.
What To Expect in a Live-action Pokemon Series
While it still remains unclear when Netflix’s live-action Pokemon will debut, this is an exciting update if it proves to be true.
With Stranger Things coming to an end soon, the streamer is going to be looking for that next big name to hook audiences. Some may have expected the upcoming Avatar: The Last Airbender adaptation to be that for them, but it seems Pokemon may trounce that.
And it makes sense. Pokemon is one of the biggest names in entertainment and Netflix has (at least stateside) sort of become the home of the series over the last couple of years.
Netflix has been the exclusive home of new seasons of the Pokemon anime as of late, and a new stop-motion series titled Pokemon Concierge is coming to the streamer at some point in the future.
So, a live-action adaptation at Netflix feels like the logical next step and something that could be a massive hit.
It is interesting that Harloff mentioned this move could be the reason for “Ash’s story in the anime [coming] to an end.” Does this means Netflix has plans to adapt the adventures of Ash and Pikachu, as they attempt to become “the very best like no one ever was?”
If that is the case, It would not be the first 1-to-1 anime adaptation to hit the service.