3 Live Action Pokémon Movie Plots We Need To See
Detective Pikachu opens the door for more Live Action Pokémon movies.
Detective Pikachu is an incredible show of how a video game can inspire an enjoyable movie. With a worldwide gross of over $431 million, it is the second highest-grossing video game film adaptation of all time (the first being Warcraft which, ironically, has much lower critic ratings than Detective Pikachu). The CGI does a wonderful job of bringing our favourite fantasy monsters to life, and a sequel was announced months before the actual film’s release. As a lifelong Pokémon fan, I found myself squealing and pointing out every single Pokémon I saw – much to the amusement of my partner, who was thankful that we were to busy to see the film while it was in the cinema. Of course, being a Pokémon fan, my mind started wandering to all the untapped potential of live action Pokémon movies. We’ve seen comic book movies take Hollywood by storm, seeping into other genres and showcasing the evolution of the film industry – now it’s Pokémon’s turn to shine.
Without further ado, here are three plot ideas I think would make great live action Pokémon movies;
1) Pokémon Ranger
An adventure of self-discovery. A Pokémon Ranger storyline would feature, you guessed it, a Pokémon Ranger as the main character. For those unfamiliar with spin off games, Pokémon Rangers are a lot like forest rangers, but for Pokémon. They protect the creatures, people and environment of the world, with a single Pokémon companion at their side. The games have Rangers equipt with a ‘stylus’, a magic device that allows the Ranger to connect on an emotional level with wild Pokémon to enlist their help in overcoming obstacles.
I adored the first Pokémon Ranger game. I also adore the three Legendary Beasts (Entei, Raikou and Suicune), which featured in the game. I think the first Ranger game would make a good starting point for developing this storyline. Our hero would be going about his ranger duties, when an event causes him to lose faith in himself. This means he can no longer use that special ranger connection, and his work suffers for it. As he regains his confidence, he discovers a foul plot concerning the corruption of the styluses, and the three legendary beasts. Perhaps the villain wants to weaponize a powerful Pokémon (legendary beasts), or use the corrupted stylus to lure all Pokémon away from the area, creating a Pokémon-free civilisation?
The motivations are for the writers to iron out in development, but the bottom line is that a Pokémon ranger movie would allow creators to explore a wealth of Pokémon, moves and abilities. It’d be particularly thrilling in 3D.
2) Rise of Darkrai
A supernatural thriller for all audiences. For those who enjoy a darker movie, Rise of Darkrai could be kept PG or scaled up to R15. There are several Pokémon with disturbing descriptions, in fact as far as nightmare fuel goes Darkrai is quite tame, but this legendary Pokémon has a lot of potential in a thriller setting. Darkrai is known to "inhabit" dreams and causes the target to have unending nightmare – but in a movie adaption setting, it could be so much more. We could have a movie set in a kind of ‘waking nightmare’ akin to The Reeker.
If the film were to be kept as PG, I would imagine something more along the line of Pitch Black and his Nightmares from Rise of the Guardians. Darkrai is infesting peoples minds and feeding off of their nightmares. Perhaps our protagonist has a ghost Pokémon who is being persecuted due to the associations of ghost Pokémon and nightmares. Darkrai itself would likely be the main villain of the movie, unless some kind of human interference element were added. Done right it could either be an inspiration for kids to face their fears, or a terrifying horror that makes adults afraid to sleep. And who knows, if Darkai did well we may see an ‘Alienesque’ Deoxys movie.
3) Clash of Titans
An end of the world drama. Two friends who parted ways as children are reunited when rival gangs plan to use legendary power for their own gain. For fans of the games I imagine your minds are being cast back to Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, in which two rival villain teams plan to resurrect their associated Legendary Pokémon in order to shift the balance of the world in their favour. This is exactly the kind of story I think would translate well to the big screen. Naturally, there would be additional elements – one of the friends could be on the villain team, while the other is a detective infiltrating the opposing team. Their friendship would be strained and tested as the deceit is revealed, but ultimately they will put their quarrel aside to stop the two Legendary Pokémon which have been raised and have begun to fight – threatening to destroy everything around them as they do so.
These have been my live action Pokémon movie plot ideas, if you think any of these are something you’d like to see hit the heart button below. If you’re feeling extra generous, maybe hit the share button too.
May your favourite Pokémon never look like a CGI designer threw potato salad at a keyboard and yelled "done".