2016 is proving to be the year of Pokemon, which is quite fitting, given that this year marks the twentieth anniversary of the Pokemon craze kicking off.
The success of Pokemon Go has given kids of the ’90s and ’00s some space to revel in their nostalgia. Those kids are now young adults, and so it’s prime time for them to adapt their old favourites into 21st-century creations.
The teaser trailer for ‘The Resurgence’ already places it firmly in the ‘brilliant job’ category. It’s an incredibly dark take on the Pokemon world, which has been destroyed by human greed, which means that it’s absolutely perfect for cynical millennials (i.e. all millennials).
Techly chatted to the film’s creator and co-director, Robin Brown, about what inspired him to twist the Pokemon narrative so bleakly, and how the success of Pokemon Go fits in with the film.
The first drafts of the film were written in January of last year and, strangely enough, it was extinction that prompted Brown to put pen to paper.
“The idea came about when I read about two black rhinos,” he explained. “They’re the only ones left of a species that will soon be extinct”. Africa’s black rhinos are now thought to be extinct, and the white rhino subspecies is critically endangered.
“That really bothered me,” Brown said, explaining that he wanted to expand on the concept of poaching, deforestation, and environmental degradation. “I’d just watched the Power Rangers movie and thought ‘there’s gotta be something else, wouldn’t it be really cool to do a dark take on Pokemon as well?'”
So Brown questioned “what [would happen] if we damage the world so much that all animals became extinct?”, and made it parallel with the Pokemon universe.
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Brown was the perfect age to appreciate Pokemon when it first hit our screens; he was 10, just like Ash. As such, he’s grown up since watching the cartoons. “I liked the concept of having no hope, of a dark bleak world. What if Pokemon were extinct? How would that change the world?”
“The Resurgence’ isn’t made explicitly for Pokemon fans. In fact, it seems like Brown was careful to avoid a fan replica of the OG series. There are little nods included for fans, in the costuming or the characterisation, but it’s abstract enough that anyone can appreciate it.
And its release is only complimented by the nostalgic surge of support for Pokemon Go. “My friends and I had always wondered about what a Pokemon game would be like, saying ‘how cool would it be to see the adult version of Pokemon?’, but I had no idea Pokemon Go would be as big as it is.”
The film is the first project launched by Brown’s own production company, Revolving Door Productions. The Blue trailer (below) is the first look at the film, which will hopefully be released by the end of November.
Keep an eye out for the Red trailer, which will be released in a few weeks.
In the meantime, Brown plans to “keep telling good stories” and working on new projects.