Every industry loves to jump on the latest craze to try and make it work for themselves, and the original success of Digimon was heavily indebted to a pair of widespread phenomena. The concept originated as a small electronic device housing virtual pets that was looking to piggyback off the Tamagotchi insanity of the mid-to-late 1990s, while the cartoon series arrived just as Pokemon was reaching the zenith of its cultural powers.
Since then, we’ve seen nine TV shows spanning well over 450 episodes, as well as eighteen feature films, all revolving around roughly the same basic premise. A human child comes into contact with a digital monster in either the real or online world, and using a Digivice they can train, power up and bond with their Digimon.
Last year it was reported that Disney had inherited the live-action rights to the property after the Mouse House acquired Fox and assumed control of countless brands that fell under the studio’s purview, and we’re now hearing from our sources – the same ones who told us Ben Affleck was returning as Batman in The Flash long before it was confirmed – that the new regime could be looking to deliver the first-ever Digimon project in more than two dimensions.
If Digimon is indeed in development behind the scenes, then you can bet it’ll be written off in some quarters as a reactionary move being used to combat Netflix’s surprise announcement that a Pokemon show was in the works for the streamer. While that would be true to a certain extent, each franchise is similar yet different enough to exist within the live-action realm, and it would be great news for fans were the Disney machine behind the former.