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Potential Live-Action Pokémon Movie

Negrek

busy dizzy lazy
Staff member
Potential Live-Action Pokémon Movie

So it sounds like TPCI is auctioning off the rights to a live-action pokémon movie. Currently the frontrunner appears to be Legendary Entertainment, which has produced a lot of action blockbusters like the Nolan Batman films, 2014 Godzilla, and Jurassic World.

tbh I'm pretty unexcite. I honestly can't imagine them actually managing to make live-action pokémon actually look... good? I mean, the designs are pretty cartoony by nature, so you end up with either this weird obviously-artificial thing interacting with the human characters like in the Superbowl commercial (which doesn't look good imo) or you need to alter the designs a bit to make them more realistic-seeming, which I don't know that the company would be okay with, since the designs are pretty iconic, and which also could end up looking bad anyway (I'm not a huge fan of "realistic" pokémon interpretations in general). I think you'd probably need a large budget to actually get the CGI to look good for any substantial number of pokémon characters, and I feel like they're more likely to go in for a cash-grab approach on a series like this that's known to print money even on the backs of some pretty awful anime movies.

Also, I would really hope that they took the opportunity to do something different with the movie than yet another Ash-venture. With live action (and based on that studio's track record) they might be targeting a somewhat older audience than the anime, so perhaps we could get a bit of a different take on the franchise. I'm thinking it likely that we'll end up with yet another Legendaries Randomly Fighting movie, though, just maybe one that doesn't feature Ash. =/

...okay, so I guess mostly I wanted to vent about how terrible this hypothetical movie of which we know absolutely nothing is sure to be, but still. Thoughts? What kind of live-action pokémovie would you want to see, if any?
 

Music Dragon

Doosic Maggon
Pronoun
she/her
Re: Potential Live-Action Pokémon Movie

A live-action Pokémon movie could work in so many ways! Just imagine:
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit, but with Pokémon. Roger Bunnelby, perhaps. Oh, and this would make for a great tie-in with Great Detective Pikachu!
  • The Muppets, but with Pokémon. There are lots of Pokémon that would make good Muppets. Swalot springs to mind. We need a Swalot Muppet, right?
  • Pacific Rim, but with Pokémon. There's already precedent for Pokémon fighting giant machines; recall that Invaders: Terror from the Sky was one of the most successful Pokéstar Studios movies.
  • Space Jam, but with Pokémon. Come on and Slam! Or even Heavy Slam!
  • Pokémon played by actors in fursuits. I'd love to see a mockumentary and/or historical fiction movie done in this style. It could be a movie about the life and times of Marie Curie, like this.
  • Anthropomorphized Pokémon, allowing for a more realistic approach. Get an actor with green hair, put a white dress on them, stab them in the chest with a red thingy and bam, there's your Gardevoir. No special effects necessary. I think this approach would work well for a movie that focuses less on action and more on, say, character-driven romantic drama. Imagine The Great Gatsby but Gatsby is a Swalot, which in this case just means that he's an actor with a Salvador Dalí mustache and he's been choked so his face is purple.
 

Sandstone-Shadow

A chickadee in love with the sky
Pronoun
she/her
Re: Potential Live-Action Pokémon Movie

I think I'd want one that doesn't focus on Pokémon battles at all. That's what I see as being the most contrived part for a live-action movie - that's a rather anime/video game type of thing. Something to do with the actual magical nature of Pokémon and a related, emotion-full adventure sounds much better.

Though, I do see live-action Pokémon being extremely hard to pull off in a believable way.
 

Butterfree

Still loves Joltik, though!
Staff member
Pronoun
she/her
Re: Potential Live-Action Pokémon Movie

Yeeeah, I'm definitely skeptical. I find it really, really hard to picture this done right on more or less any level. You've talked about the graphics; I definitely concur with that, especially given that the dominant aesthetic of modern Western adaptations of cartoony sources is all about GRIT and REALISM and DRAMATIC CONTRAST LIGHTING. I've always hated the kinds of grotesque mutant animals fanartists like to pass off as realistic Pokémon, and I definitely have a hunch TPCi wouldn't let them do that kind of thing with the IP, so I'd expect something more in line with the Super Bowl commercial - which, yeah, didn't exactly look convincing. I don't know, maybe they'd manage something that'd fit in a bit better with more detailed textures, lighting effects and perhaps more muted colors, but yeah, it's hard to picture looking good.

But then there's the story/script, which... like, there are a lot of things absolutely typical of these kinds of adaptations which would probably be applied to this and which would be pretty terrible when applied to Pokémon? For instance, I'd be very surprised if the movie didn't end up focusing on the generic personal problems of the "relatable" human characters while the Pokémon exist more or less solely to provide explosions and maybe a "cute" moment or two - unless, I guess, they adapt the Mewtwo story somehow, in which case Mewtwo might be an actual character (but is probably more likely to just be a generic nonsapient murderbeast slave to Giovanni's orders). The main character is almost definitely going to have a horrendous romantic subplot, and I can't help but dread that the main character will be an Americanized version of Ash, aged up to a twentysomething college student/dropout "everyman" dude, and that the obligatory horrendous romantic subplot will involve Misty. That seems like just the sort of thing they'd do. Ugh.

And, yeah, the plot is likely to revolve around either legendaries randomly fighting or generic evil villain trying to use a legendary to take over the world and Ash must stop them, both of which have been done to death in the existing Pokémon movies.

I don't know, maybe by some miracle they'd actually get a writer who truly gets the franchise (and then I don't mean one who is a fan but whose idea of an amazing live-action Pokémon movie is just Darker and Edgier Smash Legendaries Together Make Pokémon Kill Each Other Random Edgy References to Vitamins as Performance-Enhancing Drugs Look How Gritty), but the studio'd probably push for an explosionfest either way because they presumably want an action blockbuster out of this.

...But even given all that I don't think there's any way I'm not seeing it. Everything I'm picturing is horrendous, and not even in the way that'd be funny to watch, but I'd want to see exactly what they did with it.

At least, even if it's the worst movie to ever bad, I can tear it apart in a review.
 

Vipera Magnifica

Snake Friend
Pronoun
he/him
Re: Potential Live-Action Pokémon Movie

sooooooo Pikachu and friends™ are having fun and battling each other in a cartoony style when one of them discovers a mysterious portal, and... get this... it leads to NEW YORK. So, BOOM, you have these Pokémons suddenly in The Big Apple, and they're all hyperrealistic and shit, but they have nowhere to go because people are like freaked out by them, so they find their way into Neil Patrick Harris's apartment, where there is a really funny scene where NPH sees the Pokermans and like faints or something, and his actual dog rolls his eyes because that's hilarious. But like, after a couple heartwarming scenes full of shoehorned 90s pop culture references the Peepomen and NPH become like best friends and shit, so NPH takes Pikachu to Denny's (yes it specifically has to be Denny's, we already have their check in the bank)... but tragedy ensues because Pikachu is KIDNAPPED. And get this... no seriously, are you getting this... he was kidnapped by an evil corporate businessman who wants to exploit Pockymun to make money!!!!! (which is, incidentally, what this movie is doing... oh the ironies!!!!!!). So like, the other Pingumon have to team together and save Pikachu from the businessman villain, so they buy a bunch of like spy gear and shit from Wal-Mart and then crash the villain's party (he's invited a bunch of people to the grand opening of Pokémonland, did I forget to mention that?) so they sneak in and are about to rescue Pikachu from his cage when UH OH the villain shows up, and guess what??? The villain was actually Meowth... in a robot suit... OH SNAP. But like, using the power of friendship or some bullshit like that they trick Meowth into getting locked in Pikachu's cage and like teach him that big business is bad I guess (except when it comes to the film industry). Then there's a really sad scene where the Pokeyminch have to say goodbye to NPH (at least until the sequel) and they jump into a portal that takes them back to the Pokémon world, but like after a scene where they twerk, obviously. And then the credits roll, it's Neil Patrick Harris singing the theme from the Pékomoon anime. everyone in the audience cheers because this is exactly the movie they have been begging for for twenty long years. the studio executives have enough money to live comfortably for the rest of their lives. The End.
 

Negrek

busy dizzy lazy
Staff member
Re: Potential Live-Action Pokémon Movie

Music Dragon said:
A live-action Pokémon movie could work in so many ways!
Well, it could, but there are so many ways it could not work, too! We all remember what happened with the Quest for the Legends movie, after all.

I think I'd want one that doesn't focus on Pokémon battles at all. That's what I see as being the most contrived part for a live-action movie - that's a rather anime/video game type of thing. Something to do with the actual magical nature of Pokémon and a related, emotion-full adventure sounds much better.
But then there's the story/script, which... like, there are a lot of things absolutely typical of these kinds of adaptations which would probably be applied to this and which would be pretty terrible when applied to Pokémon? For instance, I'd be very surprised if the movie didn't end up focusing on the generic personal problems of the "relatable" human characters while the Pokémon exist more or less solely to provide explosions and maybe a "cute" moment or two
Yeah, I feel like what I really want out of a pokémon movie is pretty far removed from what you see in a typical summer blockbuster action flick. I mean, the anime movies have already given us more than enough legendary rampaging/evil people controlling powerful pokémon, but those would seem like the go-to plots for a summer blockbuster kind of movie. I think that live action is likely to be worse than straight animation for pretty much any other plotline, tbh, if only because something quieter would probably require a lot more interaction with the pokémon, and that would be harder to CGI. I also feel like it would need to be set in the real world or at least a different part of the pokéworld than we've been shown before. Like Sandstone-Shadow said, there's a magical kind of feeling to the world, particularly as it's portrayed in the anime, that I think it would be hard to capture with live action. And what Butterfree said about them most likely sidelining the pokémon so they're more set dressing/mobile magic weapons than anything else is also probably bang on, unfortunately. Ultimately mons fighting is a big part of the franchise, a lot of people watch and enjoy the anime/movies solely for the opportunity of watching pokémon whale on each other (I can't lie, this is pretty much the only draw of the anime as it currently stands for me as well), and given that this is exactly what live action + CGI portrays well, I can't imagine them not making it the centerpiece of the movie. Which, for me, is just disappointing. But I suppose that's why I read fanfic rather than watching any of the canon adaptations. XD

Also, I was just thinking... what if they got Michael Bay to direct the movie? He's had huge success wit his adaptation of Transformers and he then got called in to do TMNT (though we don't yet know how that will fare), so he's had experience working with established franchises... and the movies he makes are huge action blockbusters, which I think they're probably hoping for in going for something live-action... and his movies have raked in a disgusting amount of money... I mean, he could well not be interested, but other than that it makes altogether too much sense to me? And that's so, so much do not want. (itt I have continued anxiety over a movie that could well never happen)
 

Murkrow

Says "also" and "or something" a lot
Re: Potential Live-Action Pokémon Movie

There is a way they could do it without really jarring cartoon CG, or using horrific "realistic" Pokémon! They could film the entire thing with the Pokémon being off-screen the entire time.

Ash: Oh no, Pikachu just got hit in the face with that Mud Shot.

Misty: Look out, Ash! It looks like Swmpert's getting ready for an Earthquake next!

Ash: Don't worry. Pikachu! Do that thing we practised yesterday!

Later...

Brock: Wow Ash, the Pikachu managed to avoid that Earthquake was amazing! Indescribable, even.
 
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Karousever

formerly known as Jaketiger1116
Re: Potential Live-Action Pokémon Movie

I agree with the skeptics. I'm pretty sure this will result in something like Dragonball Evolution or The Last Airbender, and no one will be happy it happened.
 

ultraviolet

yeehaw
Staff member
Pronoun
she/her
Re: Potential Live-Action Pokémon Movie

I honestly don't understand why they wouldn't just go for a full-CGI movie when it would look so much better and fit so much better thematically. Maybe they're going for something Darker And Edgier :|
 

Eifie

oh man, good times.
Pronoun
she/her
Re: Potential Live-Action Pokémon Movie

I don't know, you guys, I see so much potential in this. Imagine: The Quest for the Legends: The Opera, starring Gerald Butler as Brycen-Man! It's the perfect chance for them to rectify all the horrible decisions that were made in the musical version. I mean, with Brycen-Man stealing the stage, they don't even need to include Mark!
 

Kung Fu Ferret

The Usurper
Pronoun
he/him
Re: Potential Live-Action Pokémon Movie

I agree with the skeptics. I'm pretty sure this will result in something like Dragonball Evolution or The Last Airbender, and no one will be happy it happened.
Agreed. Also, not trying to betray the fandom, but, IMHO, Digimon would probably pull off the whole live-action thing better, especially if they used the plot of Tamers.
However, Pokémon would do better in the box office.
 

Stryke

The finchiest of widgets
Pronoun
he/him
Re: Potential Live-Action Pokémon Movie

Honestly, the directions they could take this movie is limitless. I'm pretty sure no two pokemon things are different (try comparing the story of the mainstream games to Pokemon adventures. Or compare Mystery Dungeon to Pokemon Ranger), so for all we know, they could make a documentary of the pokemon universe, (Once upon a time, there was nothingness. And an egg. And then... ARCEUS!!!), or the life story of a wild pikachu (Once upon a time, there was nothingness. Because I was in an egg. And then... ME!!!), or... wait, I'm sensing a theme...

But this was a smart idea. If the movie is good, then the box office income will be EXTREMELY high, and it will go down in the books as beautiful and great and we will gush about it for years to come and it will go down in Pokemon history. And if its bad, the income will still be very high because c'mon... its a pokemon movie. What fan wouldn't see it? Either way, more money for them. Unless the filming is cancelled/goes into indefinite hiatus... Oh geez, did i jinx it?
 

hopeandjoy

yan ya yan ya yaa iii yaaa
Re: Potential Live-Action Pokémon Movie

I won't believe it until there's a trailer. Films regularly end up in talks or with vague dates and are never made.

I also don't think it would work well or be very good. There's not a great video game movie track record and there's an even worse Nintendo movie track record.
 

Autumn

bye
Pronoun
she/her
Re: Potential Live-Action Pokémon Movie

I don't know, you guys, I see so much potential in this. Imagine: The Quest for the Legends: The Opera, starring Gerald Butler as Brycen-Man! It's the perfect chance for them to rectify all the horrible decisions that were made in the musical version. I mean, with Brycen-Man stealing the stage, they don't even need to include Mark!
you have no idea how much i want to do this now. i mean i want to write the music 4 realz
 
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Arylett Charnoa

Barely existent.
Pronoun
she/her
Re: Potential Live-Action Pokémon Movie

Must everything be made into live action? I think some things just aren't suitable to be adapted into other medium. It's like if you tried to adapt a heavy action-based series into a book. It wouldn't work as well because action is better done in visuals.

In this case, Pokemon is better done with animation. It focuses primarily on non-human creatures that don't exist in reality, which is difficult to pull off in live action without making it 80% CGI. Why not go all the way instead of half-assedly shoving in some actual people and making it super awkward? The main draw of Pokemon is the Pokemon themselves. Without them, it'd just be another generic franchise about some humans. It wouldn't exist.

So I just think such a thing shouldn't exist. And if it does get made, I'll probably just laugh at how bad it is. Because the chances of it being any good are highly unlikely.
 

Lady Grimdour

Chaptermistress of the World Eaters
Re: Potential Live-Action Pokémon Movie

...no. just no.

Live action adaptations of cartoons *never* work.
 

Murkrow

Says "also" and "or something" a lot
Re: Potential Live-Action Pokémon Movie

So what does everyone think now that this seems likely to actually happen?
 

Sandstone-Shadow

A chickadee in love with the sky
Pronoun
she/her
Re: Potential Live-Action Pokémon Movie

I'm picturing Pokémon Go style augmented reality. Cute for a game but corny for a movie. I have no doubt that it's possible to do realistic fantasy animals in a live-action movie, but Pokémon are still cartoons.

If they do something like this, though... take my money now.
 
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