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A Pokémon Live-Action Series Is Coming to Netflix

Following Detective Pikachu, Netflix is working on a live-action Pokémon series.

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Pikachu and Mewtwo facing off.
Pikachu and Mewtwo facing off.
Screenshot: Warner Bros.

Detective Pikachu, a detective, almost certainly saw this one coming.

Variety reports that Lucifer co-showrunner Joe Henderson is writing and executive producing a live-action Pokémon series for Netflix that will be somewhat similar to, but distinct from, Warner Bros.’ adaptation of Detective Pikachu. Currently, there are no details about whether the project, like Detective Pikachu, will borrow plot points from an existing Pokémon game, or the animated series, or any one of the other dozens of Pokémon stories that have been featured in the franchise’s past.

Nintendo has an established history of being somewhat protective of its IP when it comes to working with other companies on projects like this. But considering Detective Pikachu’s undeniable success at the box office, Netflix’s series makes a certain amount of sense, particularly when you consider that many seasons of the Pokémon anime are currently streaming on the platform. Netflix’s announcement comes in the middle of the Pokémon franchise’s 25th anniversary, which has been marked by a number of events focused on the past.


While it would be interesting if the new series attempted to tap into some of the 25th anniversary’s nostalgic energy, it’s also worth considering how a Pokémon show could also opt to delve into the lives of non-battlers akin to Pokémon Snap, or the history of the Pokémon world as Pokémon Legends: Arceus is set to do. There are any number of different directions that Netflix’s Pokémon project could ultimately take, and they’re all likely to get a mix of responses from fans, who—if we’re all being honest with one another—have always fantasized about what lifelike Pokémon might look like.

In the end, the monsters’ designs are going to be what probably ends up making or breaking the show regardless of the show’s plot, and Netflix undoubtedly knows that the first Pokémon it shows off needs to look stunning in order to succeed.


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