With the successful launch of Pokémon Go (and an assist from Hollywood’s perpetual unwillingness to bet money on anything that isn’t already making money), a Pokémon movie was more or less inevitable. And now, according to Deadline, it might be just years away. Legendary Pictures, the studio behind it-did-great-in-China video game adaptation Warcraft, is reportedly throwing pokéballs at the film rights. It won’t be the first Pokémon movie, though—as it turns out, it won’t even be the 19th Pokémon movie. The first Pokémon movie was 1999’s accurately titled Pokémon: The First Movie, mostly remembered today for Roger Ebert’s marvelously baffled review, which ends with a lovely preemptive strike against fan culture:
… I may have completely bypassed the point and misinterpreted crucial Pokémon lore. This may disqualify me from ever becoming a Pokémon Trainer. I can live with that.
It’s easy to forget about the earlier Pokémon movies, because they haven’t been released in U.S. theaters since the fifth film, Pokémon Heroes, bombed back in 2002. Remember Pokémon Heroes? The one with the “all powerful jewel known as the Soul Dew,” according to the film’s website? Remember the Soul Dew?
Of course, what Legendary is planning is a live-action movie, not another animated film—a completely different thing. But it won’t be the first live-action Pokémon show either; that honor goes to Pokémon Live, a stage musical that played Radio City Music Hall around the turn of the century. (You can watch it on YouTube right here, if you want to.)
So what Legendary is reportedly about to pay a small fortune for, then, will probably be the 20th Pokémon movie and the second Pokémon live-action show, but, to be fair, the first live-action Pokémon movie. That is, unless some enterprising Pokémon fan beats them to the punch. We’ll get you started: For just $54.53, you can buy this exquisite “JIATING New Cosplay Pikachu Polar Fleece Adult Kigurumi Pajama, yellow-unisex” and secure your horrifying place in Pokémon history forever.