Home Entertainment Studios enter bidding war over Pokémon live-action movie rights

Studios enter bidding war over Pokémon live-action movie rights

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pokemon

When it comes to the next big blockbuster movie franchise, Hollywood studios definitely want to catch ’em all. And now it looks like the next big target in their sights is a live-action feature film adaptation of immensely popular long-running video game franchise PokémonTHR reports that the Pokémon Co., the Japanese entity that has managed the rights to the franchise, has secretly (well, clearly not that secretly) been meeting with several studios to facilitate a possible sale of the feature film rights.

Warner Bros., Sony and Legendary are apparently the three major studios aggressively pursuing the lucrative deal, with word on the grapevine being that Legendary is currently the frontrunner in the race. But there’s unfortunately a wrinkle in their endeavours: though Legendary is a Hollywood based studio, they have recently become a division of China’s Dalian Wanda Group. The prospect of a Chinese group owning the rights to one of the biggest Japanese entertainment properties in the world may not exactly sit well with either country given their sometimes prickly political relationship.

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The fact that Legendary are already spearheading other major Japanese franchises like the new Godzilla and upcoming Kong: Skull Island movies, will of course help to pave the way, but things are still not clear. There’s also the fact that Warner Bros have already made a Pokémon movie, as they distributed the 1996 animated theatrical release as well as a brace of direct-to-TV sequels (there have been 19 movies in total though). Whomever does win the bidding auction will certainly be turning this into the next big deal.

Begun in 1998 as a video game title for the Gameboy handheld console, that followed Ash Ketchum, a new trainer who roams the land finding, collecting and training various creatures – like the iconic Pikachu – to use in battle against other trainers in order to become the ultimate Pokemon Master. The franchise has since branched out almost exponentially with a huge library of video games, collectible trading cards and a massively popular anime series. On the video game front alone, over 279 million units have been sold since the franchise’s inception. The franchise has become such a huge mainstay in pop culture that the latest video game entry even received a trailer during this year’s Super Bowl alongside some of biggest Hollywood blockbusters.

Hollywood produced live-action adaptations of both video games and anime have had a horrible track record up until now, especially when the source material is Americanized (I’m still struggling to erase the memory of the Dragonball Z movie). On the video game adaptation front, we already have a couple of contenders to rectify that in Assassins Creed and Splinter Cellso could Pokémon also follow suit? What do you guys think?

This article originally appeared on The Movies

Last Updated: April 18, 2016

20 Comments

  1. Reply

    • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

      April 18, 2016 at 14:14

      Did he signal Voltorb to use Self Destruct?

      Reply

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        April 18, 2016 at 14:15

        Is that a Pokemon reference? Because the only Pokemon I know is Ling-Ling. :/

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

          April 18, 2016 at 14:17

          lol

          Reply

        • Kromas untamed

          April 18, 2016 at 14:28

          Ling ling into battle go!

          Reply

          • Ottokie

            April 18, 2016 at 14:30

            Ling ling not here to battle! Ling ling only here to give children seizures!

            *flashy battle intro

          • Kromas untamed

            April 18, 2016 at 14:36

            At least he knows more than one word.

  2. Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

    April 18, 2016 at 14:14

    They should award the contract to the studio that bids in Pokemon Dollars, also they should cast Scarlett Johansson as Jessie, just to piss off the fanboys even further.

    Reply

  3. Ottokie

    April 18, 2016 at 14:14

    As a Pokemon fan…

    Please don’t do this…

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

      April 18, 2016 at 14:16

      It’s gonna happen, unfortunately. Me, I’m going to wait till this blows over
      http://i.imgur.com/CptegEw.gif

      Reply

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        April 18, 2016 at 14:16

        It’s GingerBrew!

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

          April 18, 2016 at 14:18

          No wonder, all my feelings are drained after a few pints.

          Reply

      • Admiral Chief in New York

        April 18, 2016 at 15:00

        NOU IS EK BAAAAAIE DORS

        Reply

  4. DragonSpirit009

    April 18, 2016 at 15:31

    I’m not always fond of 2D things going 3D or live action. Most of the time it ends in disappointment. So I’m feeling really iffy with this!

    Reply

  5. Ghost In The Rift

    April 18, 2016 at 15:32

    Yeah this is gonna get stuck in development hell where the Japanese is involved, gotta work out that Yen you know.

    Reply

  6. chimera_85

    April 18, 2016 at 16:11

    Oh god, let the whitewashing begin

    Reply

  7. Ollie bellamy

    April 23, 2016 at 23:18

    You forgot to mention warcraft is well which probably be better than assassins creed which story has been mostly crap apart from assassin creed 1 and 2

    Reply

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