The never-ending success of Pokémon Go has set in motion a string of oversized dominions just waiting to be knocked down one after the other for the titular company and all the sub-companies attached to it. The sleeper hit success of Pokémon Go has given Nintendo and the Pokémon Company the freedom to pursue avenues in which the previously probably never would have without the mobile app’s worldwide success. With more money comes more problems (at least that’s what Notorious B.I.G tells me), however, and with Nintendo and the Pokémon Company’s egos inflated at the moment from the worldwide success that technically wasn’t “their” success, could the two be rushing into things too soon?
Legendary Pictures, the company that brought you that cringe-worthy CGI from the recently released Warcraft film has signed a deal with the Pokémon Company for a live-action Pokémon movie. The inner child inside me is jumping with utter joy right now, but every bone in my body is telling me to think otherwise, mainly because the very first film Legendary Pictures wants to produce with their shiny new money printing license is Detective Pikachu of all things. Before you all take out your pitchforks, I do realize that this little known, Japanese 3DS eShop game has made some headway with Pokémon fans across the globe so much in fact that just about every Pokémon lover and their mother is calling for Danny Devito to voice the lead role of Detective Pikachu.
The idea, as amusing and probably hilarious as it might seem, will not be the final outcome of the film. This could just be a major case of pessimism due to the string of recent video game adaptation failures lately, but I full-heartedly foresee this film flopping harder than a whale in a kiddy pool. Mr. Devito probably wouldn’t want to risk his acting career associating with a live-action animated film, nevertheless one that puts him in the role of Detective Pikachu. If you think that the threat of a below the bar movie can’t ruin someone’s career, I refer you to Brendan Fraser. Brendan who? You maybe asking yourself? You know, the guy from all those Mummy movies, yeah that guy. He was the pop in Hollywood’s popcorn for quite some time back in the day until he put films like Looney Tunes: Back in Action and Monkeybone under his belt. Suddenly, after those flops, the turnout for his films started to suffer from a major decline and suddenly Hollywood’s poster boy had to go MIA for a while and not until recently has he been cropping back up again in a handful noteworthy roles. So I think it’s safe to say that fan’s hopes and dreams of Devito voicing the cutesy Sherlock hat-wearing rodent are no more than a pipe dream, as hilariously entertaining as it might have been.
To add on to the film’s inevitable poor quality, Legendary Pictures has put on the picture on the fast track of Hollywood’s conveyor belt, which is most likely due to producers wanting to churn the film out as soon as possible to capitalize on the mobile app’s success. As of the writing of this article, the film has been projected to see a 2017 release, which is coming up fast and makes for even worse news for the film in general. When looking at the production of Warcraft (once Duncan Jones was given the duty of director in January 2013), the development for the film took place over the course of thee years and still the CGI, Story and character development or lack thereof suffered greatly, turning the promising film adaptation into yet another game-to-film failure that struggled to resonate with its western audience.
Detective Pikachu is currently cruising down the same miserable road every live-action and video game adaptation has driven down before it and will most likely suffer the same fate. The care and attention to detail the film so desperately needs is being passed up with the bearing pressure of turnout a Pokémon movie within a year, before the quickly fading fad of Pokémon Go is nothing but a memory. If only Legendary Pictures could realize that Pokémon is more than Pokémon Go; it has been going strong with both television and video game installments for decades now and the illusion of a rush to get the film out and into theaters is paranoia, as people who love Pokémon today will still love it just as much five years from now.