Netflix is making a live-action Pokemon series: Everything we know so far

Detective Pikachu standings next to a live-action Netflix series logo.Netflix / Legendary Studios

Netflix has pulled the trigger on another anime-to-live action adaptation, and this is a big one: according to trade sources, a new Pokemon television series similar to Detective Pikachu is now in the works at the streaming studio.

According to Variety, who revealed the scoop on July 26, the series will be helmed by Joe Henderson, who is wrapping up the final season of Lucifer.

The Pokemon series will be an extended live-action series, filmed in a similar vein to the animation-heavy Detective Pikachu movie starring Ryan Reynolds and Justice Smith. There’s no indication that it would be set in the same alternate version of the Pokemon world as Legendary’s ambitious 2019 blockbuster, however.

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In fact, details are few and far between. Considering it’s early days for the Pokemon project, the show’s direction is likely still up in the air.

Netflix has yet to officially announce the series.

This new Pokemon series comes as Netflix aggressively moves into more animated and anime series, as well as live-action adaptations, over the past few years.

The Californian streaming titan already hosts several Pokemon series in its extensive cartoon catalog, including Indigo League and Pokemon: Journeys. Other full seasons of the show, including the anime’s stints in Johto and Sinnoh, have been rotated in and out of Netflix’s regional libraries.

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Netflix has also been pushing into anime with other popular IPs recently too. Previously announced shows include Far Cry, Splinter Cell, and Terminator. Their new Castlevania series is also spinning off into a multi-show franchise.

In the live-action department, Netflix has greenlit Cowboy Bebop and One Piece adaptations, and have a controversial Avatar remake on the boil too.

Detective Pikachu standing in front of cast of live-action Pokemon.Legendary Studios
There’s an appetite for live-action Pokemon; Detective Pikachu raked in more than $430 million in 2019.

Live-action Pokemon projects have been a dream for many franchise fans since the animated series first aired in 1997. Detective Pikachu was seen as a strong first step in that direction, and players supported Legendary’s feature flick with their wallets; the Ryan Reynolds movie grossed $430 million worldwide.

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The long-running Pokemon show is currently airing its 24th season, and boasts 23 animated films too. The mainline anime series has over 1,160 episodes.