Pokemon-Red-Blue

Legendary have picked up the film rights to Pokemon, meaning that a movie version of the very popular video game franchise won’t be far off.

The Hollywood Reporter reports that Legendary and The Pokemon Co. will launch the first Pokemon live-action film franchise based on Detective Pikachu, a new character in the Pokemon universe.

Of course, the story is being kept under wraps but the film will be fast-tracked to start production in 2017 – meaning a film version will hit cinemas potentially the following year.

The Pokemon phenomenon began in the 1990s, but with the release of Pokemon Go just this year, the love of the property is an all-time high, and the rights to it were subject of a massive bidding war in Hollywood over he past few weeks.

Legendary were responsible for this year’s other big video game adaptation Warcraft, a film that didn’t do too great in U.S. or U.K. cinemas, but did do massively well over in China.

The trade reports that Universal Pictures will handle distribution of the planned live-action film outside of Japan. Toho will handle distribution in Japan.