- Associated Press - Thursday, July 21, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) - The movie studio Legendary Entertainment plans to launch the first live-action Pokemon movie franchise.

The first Pokemon movie, called “Detective Pikachu,” opens production in 2017.

The game “Pokemon Go” became a global phenomenon when it launched this month. Players search for digital creatures that pop up on smartphone screens as they move through real-world locations. The character Detective Pikachu was introduced in a video game in Japan.

Universal Pictures will handle distribution of the film outside Japan as it does with Legendary’s other films.

Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group, which owns AMC Theaters, bought Legendary Entertainment for $3.5 billion in January.

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