According to reports, Netflix is working on a live-action Pokémon show.
In late July 2021, Variety reported that “sources” indicated the series is in the early stages of production, though Netflix has yet to confirm this.
If this rumor is true, it raises a lot of questions about the film’s release date, cast, and which monsters we’ll get to meet in person. With a few exceptions over the years, live-action anime and video game adaptations have a history of poor critical response.
To answer some of those queries, we’ve gathered as much information as possible. Here’s all we know so far about Netflix’s impending live-action Pokémon series.
When will the live-action Pokémon series on Netflix premiere?
The project is still “in its early days,” according to the report, so it’s difficult to determine when it’ll be available on Netflix. Typically, TV programs like these take several years to develop from start to finish, so don’t hold your breath for a premiere anytime soon.
Consider Netflix’s The Witcher series, which launched in December 2019 after being announced in May 2017. The live-action Pokémon series may follow a similar timeframe, with the first season not arriving until 2024.
Who is behind the Pokémon series on Netflix?
The new Netflix Pokémon show will be written and executive produced by Joe Henderson. Henderson is best known for co-creating and executive producing Netflix’s Lucifer, which is set to wrap up in 2021.
Henderson has no prior experience producing live-action video game/anime films, but given the success of Lucifer, it’s feasible that the Pokémon program will have a similar level of quality and popularity.
Is there a trailer for the Netflix Pokémon series?
There isn’t a trailer or even a screenshot of what the program will look like because it’s still under development. Given that it will be live-action, we expect it to be presented similarly to Detective Pikachu, featuring CGI Pokémon alongside actual actors.
What can we expect from the Netflix Pokémon series?
It’s difficult to predict how the show will turn out when everything is said and done. However, if Detective Pikachu is any indication, the Netflix program will be similar. Other live-action anime adaptations, such as Dragon Ball: Evolution, Death Note, and Ghost in the Shell, garnered mixed reviews, and while Detective Pikachu wasn’t much better, it was a step forward.
Anime adaptations, such as the ones mentioned above, have a bad reputation, but live-action video game films are far worse. Poor-quality films include Super Mario Bros. in 1993, Doom in 2005, and Resident Evil in 2002, among dozens of others produced throughout the years. Filmmakers have nailed a wide range of adaptations from other genres, but live-action video games and anime films are notable outliers.
Thankfully, unlike a movie, the Netflix Pokémon show will have a longer runtime, allowing for more character development. Shows like Netflix’s The Witcher and Castlevania have shown that giving compelling characters greater screen time allows them to shine.
Hopefully, the show will stay true to the source material in order to avoid alienating old fans. Because Pokémon is such a big concept across multiple mediums, it should be possible to locate a production team that is familiar enough with the series to adapt it to live-action, just like Detective Pikachu.
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