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Legendary snatches up the live-action Pokémon movie rights

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In what’s turning out to be an absolutely huge month for whoever owns the rights to the letter é, Deadline is reporting that Legendary Pictures has acquired the film rights to the Pokémon franchise, after months of frenzied battles between various corporate lawyers (the colorful, kid-friendly monsters of the entertainment business world). Spurred on by the massive smartphone success of Pokémon Go, Lionsgate has now pushed the deal through, and is preparing to start work on a film adaptation next year, the better to let journalists stock up on their precious supply of “catch them all” puns and jokes.

But here’s where things get weird: the movie won’t be a traditional Pokémon movie, like the animated feature from 2000. Instead, Lionsgate is apparently adapting Great Detective Pikachu, a 3DS game that sees a deerstalker-wearing, deep-voiced version of the franchise’s famous mascot solve crimes in a modern city. The game came out in Japan back in February, and hasn’t had a Stateside release announced (despite fan petitions that the American Pikachu be voiced by Danny DeVito, for some reason). In other words, the first live-action Pokémon movie is apparently going to be pretty light on catching monsters, fighting at gyms, or other staples of the series, and more in favor of solving mysteries and mouse-based deduction. (Spoiler alert, though: This thing’s still going to totally make a billion dollars when it finally comes out.)