Digimon is a Japanese-American science fiction fantasy action-adventure film based on the anime of the same name. It is the first of the live action Digimon film series. The film, which combines computer animation with live-action, is directed by Robert Stromberg and written and produced by Drew Gars in cooperation with Universal Pictures, Legendary Pictures and Saban Films. The film stars Ansel Elgort, Josh Hutcherson, Bella Thorne, Asa Butterfield, Liana Liberato, Robert Sheehan, Ty Sympkins, Daniel Craig and Patrick Stewart; while the Digimon voice actors reprise their roles from the anime respectively.
A group of human youths from Earth get transported to a strange dimension called the "Digital World" while they are at summer camp where they discover that they are in a land where digital creatures called "Digimon" dwell. Befriending seven of the Digimon, these youths learn that they have the ability to help their partners digitally evolve (digivolve) into stronger, powerful forms that can combat enemies for a short amount of time. Setting off on their journey, the youths start searching for a way home. While there, they learn that they are the "DigiDestined", chosen young guardians with compatibilities with Digimon, and they are the only hope in defeating an evil digimon that is slowly about to consuming the Digital World.
The film opens with a narration (Watson) saying that there is a parallel universe where one day equals one minute on Earth where mysterious creatures dwell called "Digimon". The universe was called the "Digital World". Digimon possess a legendary power where they "ages" and grows up into larger and more powerful forms, it was called "Digivolution". One day, a strange being (that is a manifestation of the remains and hatred of the digimon who failed to digivolve) came to The Digital World from beyond the "Wall of Fire" and its presence caused the Digital World to become warped, throwing it chronology out of sync with the Real World with the help of it's byproducts, The Dark Masters. To defeat this force, a group of human youths from Earth were chosen and brought to the Digital World, successfully destroying the evil being. These youths were known as the "DigiDestined", and their legend was famed throughout the Digital World, with temples erected to their memories, and a prophecy that said a new generation of DigiDestined would arise when the Digital World would need them again.
- Ansel Elgort as Tyler "Tai" Kamden, the leader of the DigiDestined. He is considered to being stubborn and thick-headed, but brave, funny, affectionate and very protective of his sister and friends.
- Josh Hutcherson as Matt Jordans, The "lone wolf" of the group and the older brother of T.K. Jordans.
- Bella Thorne as Sora Taylor, Tai's best friend and a member of the DigiDestined. She is supportive, kind and acts as a mother figure to the group.
- Asa Butterfield as Korbin "Izzy" Isaacs, a computer expert and a member of the DigiDestined. He is very intelligent and a logical thinker.
- Liana Liberato as Mimi Thatch, a member of the DigiDestined. She is kind and caring, although initially slightly selfish.
- Ty Simpkins as T.K. Jordans, The youngest of the group and the younger brother of Matt.
- Robert Sheehan as Joe Kingston, the eldest member of the DigiDestined. He is dependable and thoughtful, though he is sometimes a worrier. He tries to act as the voice of reason within the group.
- Joey King as Kari Kamden, Tai's kind, gentle and enigmatic little sister.
- Leslie Mann as Susan Kamden, Tom's wife and Tai and Kari's mother.
- Ty Burrell as Yule Kamden, Jessica's husband and Tai and Kari's father.
- Carla Gugino as Tonya Taylor, Sora's mother.
- Ashley Judd as Katherine Isaacs, Mason's wife and Izzy's adopted mother.
- Jason Bateman as Mason Isaacs, Katherine's husband and Izzy's adopted father.
- Josh Holloway as Hilton Jordans, a news producer for KNTV and Matt and T.K.'s father.
- Alyssa Milano as Nancy Tanner, Matt and T.K.'s mother and Hilton's ex-wife.
- Will Ferrell as Kevin Thatch, Stacy's husband and Mimi's father.
- Kathyrn Hahn as Sasha Thatch, Kevin's wife and Mimi's mother.
- Ed Helms as Mr. Doug Fulbright, the DigiDestined's over dramatic science teacher.
- Josh Charles as Burton Walker, the lead anchorman for KNTV.
- Elizabeth Mitchell as Denise Quinn, the lead anchorwoman for KNTV.
- Ray Wise as Ernest "Ernie" Hartman, the manager of KNTV television station and Hilton's boss.
- Timothy Simons as Charlie Jeffers, Ernie's assistant at Channel 8 News.
- Olivia Wilde as Jackie Boswell, a correspondent working at KNTV.
- Kyle Mooney as Jeremiah Ward, Jackie's camera man.
- Leven Rambin as Bridget, a camp counselor Tai tries to impress.
- Simon Pegg as Dr. Cedric Fallon, a astrophysicist studying a storm-like phenomenon at the summer camp.
- Joshua Seth as street magician
- Michael Reisz as Hank the bus driver
- Colleen O'Shaughnessey as Nancy the neighbor
- Mona Marshall as the librarian
- Philece Sampler as Nurse Cheryl
- Michael Lindsay as the janitor
- Wendee Lee as Janet the school counselor
- Lara Jill Miller as Miss Goldberg
- Tom Fahn as Principal Bowen
- Kirk Thornton as store clerk
- Tifanie Christun as soccer coach
- Jeff Nimoy as airport security guard
- Anna Garduno as Principal's secretary
- R. Martin Klein as homeless man
- Laura Summer as religious fanatic
- Edie Mirman as woman by bus stop
- Tom Fahn voices Agumon, a reptile Digimon and the partner of Tai Kamden.
- Kirk Thornton voices Gabumon, a canine Digimon and the partner of Matt Jordans.
- Tifanie Christun voices Biyomon, a small bird Digimon and the partner of Sora Taylor.
- Jeff Nimoy voices Tentomon, a naturally friendly Digimon based on a Ladybug with carefree way of life and the partner of Korbin "Izzy" Issacs.
- Anna Garduno voices Palmon, a plant Digimon with reptile features and the partner of Mimi Thatch.
- R. Martin Klein voices Gomamon, a Digimon who appears to be based on a young harp seal and the partner of Joe Kingston.
- Laura Summer voices Patamon, a Digimon that resembles a small flying guinea pig-like creature with light blue eyes and bat-like wings, which could possibly be his ears and the partner of T.K. Jordans.
- Daniel Craig as Devimon, The ruler of File Island and the main antagonist of the film.
- Ron Perlman voices Leomon, the protector of File Island who becomes corrupted by Devimon.
- - Douglas Tait as Leomon (motion capture)
- Djimon Hounsou voices Orgemon, Leomon's rival and the secondary antagonist.
- - Derek Mears as Ogremon (motion capture)
- Patton Oswalt voices Frigimon, A snowman-like Digimon who lives in the frozen northern part of File Island.
- Seth Rogen voices Elecmon, The caretaker of Primary Village.
- Sean Bean as Centaruman (makeup and motion capture), the guardian of a temple which was built in honor of the DigiDestined.
- Doug Erholtz voices Sukamon, a mutant-type champion Digimon.
- Dave Mallow voices Chuumon, a beast-type rookie Digimon.
- Patrick Stewart as Gennai, an old man created from data who acts as a guide to the DigiDestined.
- Frank Welker as various Digimon voices
- Kevin Michael Richardson as various Digimon voices
- Emma Watson as the Narrator (Uncredited)
When the film was announced, the casting of Caucasian actors in the lead roles caused accusations of whitewashing, especially from fans of the original Japanese franchise. Head producer Drew Gars responded to the criticism stating, "Yes, I get it. But listen, while this is an adaptation of the anime, it's also an American retelling of the anime. The way we're making the film is like Edge of Tomorrow. Edge of Tomorrow was originally based off a Japanese novel called All You Need Is Kill that made into Edge of Tomorrow, with the original story still being used while it was retold in an American way. If you are offended by this, fine I get it. You have the right to be offended even though it's my project. Again, I apologize. I promise even though its different, I promise it to be vey faithful to the source material as possible. And also, to the Internet critics, I'm not bullshiting. Besides, I can hear you. I don't want this to be like Dragonball: Evolution, The Last Airbender and Jem and The Holograms. The problem with those films is that they were made by people who don't understand the source materiel. But I do. I grew up with the anime as a kid and its very dear to my heart. Thank you."
Drew Gars' Conditions
Film producer and screenwriter Drew Gars pitch the idea to both Universal Pictures and Saban Films of making a film adaptation of the anime. But he had some requirements before beginning development on the film.
1. Gars heads the project as the head producer and head screenwriter of the project.
2. Gars gets to choose the running time, the length and film rating.
4. Gars request that production of the film to be on location, stating that shooting will take place in the jungle.
5. Gars must instructs the other writers to watch the original anime before writing the film.
It was rumored by fans of the series that a live-action movie was in the works. On March 20, 20**, a live-action motion-picture adaptation of Digimon was announced by Drew Gars, a fan of the franchise, who will serve as the producer and screenwriter.
In April, it was announced that Ansel Elgort had been cast as Tai, with Asa Butterfield as Izzy, Ty Simpkins as T.K., and Robert Sheehan as Joe. On April 30, actor Josh Hutcherson was cast as Matt. On May 1, Liana Liberato was cast as Mimi. Eliza Bennett was offered the role of Sora but declined. Debby Ryan, Odeya Rush, AnnaSophia Robb and other actresses were tested for the role but it went to Bella Thorne. On May 5th, Patrick Stewart and Joey King joined the film as Gennai and Kari.
On May 15, Daniel Craig was added to the cast of the film as Devimon, the film's main antagonist. On May 20, Ty Burrell, Leslie Mann, Will Arnett, Radha Mitchell, Jason Bateman, Ashley Judd, Will Ferrell joined the cast as the DigiDestined's parents. In San Diego ComicCon 20**, it was announced that the original voice actors would reprise their roles of the Digimon partners. A week after ComicCon 20**, Gars announced that Ron Perlman and Djimon Hounsou joined the as the voices of Leomon and Ogremon.
Industrial Light & Magic was chosen to create the visual effects for the first film and the second film. Hongo and Gars hired Oscar winners John Knoll and Hal T. Hickel, both known for their work on the Star Wars prequel trilogy and the Pirates of the Caribbean films. Legacy Effects was hired to do the special and practical effects on the film. Shane Mahan, known for creating the armored suits for Iron Man, was hired on as effects supervisor. John Rosengrant was also brought in for his work on Real Steel. Oscar winner Clay Pinney, known for his work on Independence Day and Star Trek, was also brought on board. Hybride Technologies, a division of Ubisoft, and Rodeo FX also contributed to the visual effects. Some of the practical creature effect were provided by Jim Henson's Creature Shop.
- Gars watched the anime in order to get the source material in the script.
- Casting was complicated by the raft of prominent candidates such as Eliza Bennett, Sarah Hyland, Jennette McCurdy, Odeya Rush, Abigail Breslin, Daniella Campbell and AnnaSophia Robb. Gars said in an interview, "The character of Sora Taylor was the hardest character we'd had to cast. We tried different actresses to see which one looked perfect for the role."
- Drew Gars described the film as "a mixture of King Kong and The Chronicles of Narina: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, and The Jungle Book."
- The running time is 143 minutes.
- The film is rated PG-13 for action violence and language.
- The film is distributed by Universal Pictures and Legendary Pictures, while being produced by Saban Films and Toei Company.