Netflix are doubling down on snapping up the live-action and animated rights to as many popular video game properties as possible to mine for new content, but the announcement that the streaming service is developing a live-action Pokémon series still came as a huge surprise.
The reason why is that Legendary had beaten out a raft of competitors to secure the option on live-action Pokémon projects back in 2016, and for the most part the production company has tended to partner up with Warner Bros. due to a financing and distribution agreement between the two parties that’s been in place for years.
We’d been hearing rumors of a Pokémon show for a while, but it was expected to be set up at HBO Max given the Legendary and WB connection. However, we’re now hearing from our sources – the same ones who told us an Enola Holmes sequel was in active development long before it was confirmed – that the 2021 release calendar fiasco is partly behind the decision to take Pokémon to Netflix.
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If you’ll remember, Legendary were blocked from selling Godzilla vs. Kong to Netflix for $250 million, and threatened WB with legal action until the situation was resolved, and they weren’t happy about being kept out of the loop in regards to Dune, either.
Legendary have struck up a decent relationship with Netflix, having also been the company behind Enola Holmes, which was sold by WarnerMedia to the platform. They also teamed up for sci-fi actioner Spectral, and will reunite for Millie Bobby Brown’s second outing as Sherlock’s kid sister, as well as Kong: Skull Island director Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ big budget Gundam, so if it wasn’t HBO Max, then there was really only one other place for Pokémon.