Netflix subscribers, prepare to catch ’em all. A live-action television adaptation of “Pokémon” is reportedly in the works.
Variety reported on Monday that “Lucifer” showrunner Joe Henderson has been attached to write and executive produce the untitled series, which is in the early stages of development. The series will mark Hollywood’s second live-adaptation of the multimedia franchise following 2019’s Ryan Reynolds and Justice Smith-led film, “Pokémon Detective Pikachu.”
A Netflix representative did not return a request for comment.
The “Pokémon” series news marks a major leap for Hollywood’s live-action television adaptations of video games, which used to be a rarity. Netflix is no stranger to video game adaptations: The streaming service recently premiered “Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness,” a four-episode animated horror adaptation of the video game franchise. Netflix also has four seasons of a “Castlevania” animated series, which has received positive reviews from critics and is a project that Netflix has stated to be a viewership success. Regardless, the upcoming “Pokémon” show marks a first for Netflix, which does not boast any major live-action adaptations of video games.
Television adaptations of a slew of other high-profile video game IPs, ranging from “The Last of Us” and “Fallout” to “Disco Elysium” and “Cuphead,” the latter of which has been set at Netflix, are also in the works from various studios.
Reports about Netflix’s “Pokémon” series broke several days after Netflix reported its Q2 2021 earnings, which included the news that Netflix will begin including certain video games in its members’ subscriptions. Though details were vague, the company said it viewed “gaming as another new content category for us, similar to our expansion into original films, animation, and unscripted TV.”
Nintendo’s “Pokémon” franchise, which is the highest-grossing media franchise in the world, has been spun off into a long-running anime series and a variety of animated films. That said, Nintendo has been notoriously cagey about allowing Western companies to adapt its IPs for television and film. Nintendo allegedly scrapped a live-action “The Legend of Zelda” Netflix series several years ago after details about the project were leaked.
Variety’s full report on the upcoming “Pokémon” series can be read here.