According to sources close to WGTC – the same ones who told us National Treasure 3, Now You See Me 3 and Scream 5 were in development, all of which were correct – Disney is currently putting together a live-action adaptation of the popular Japanese children’s cartoon and game series Digimon.
From what we understand, the project is still in the earliest stages of its development and was made possible after Disney acquired Twentieth Century Fox, with our sources confirming that the Mouse House now has the rights to produce a live-action film based on the property. When the movie will appear in theaters, who will star in it, or which storyline will provide the basis for its plot, remains to be seen, but it’s definitely being developed behind closed doors, we’re told.
Created by Akiyoshi Hongo for Japanese toy company Bandai in the late 90s, Digimon was but one of many franchises that embarked down a road paved by Nintendo’s Pokémon. To anyone remotely familiar with either series, this comparison is not surprising. After all, both feature a group of kids who befriend and do battle with shape-shifting monsters.
What set Digimon apart from Pokémon, however, are the more mature look and greater variety. Indeed, whereas most Pokémon appear cute, cuddly, kid-friendly and pocket-sized, Digimon look like ferocious beasts, and can grow to the size of skyscrapers. On top of that, while Pokémon have three evolutions tops, some Digimon evolve into dozens of radically different forms.
Both franchises managed to become as popular and lucrative as they did because their design plays on one of our oldest, most persistent impulses: the urge to collect. One of the core psychological pillars of capitalism, this urge is so powerful it can drag tired parents into stores on Sunday mornings where they proceed to spend their hard-earned money.
Whether this new film adaptation will turn out to be a hit in the vein of, say, Detective Pikachu – which is surely what Disney is aiming for – remains to be seen. But as soon as we learn more about what the studio has planned, we’ll certainly let you know.