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PopWrapped | Movies

Pokémon Film Rights Enter Bidding War

Joshua Raynor | PopWrapped Author

Joshua Raynor

Updated 04/20/2016 1:40pm
Pokémon Film Rights Enter Bidding War | Pokémon
Media Courtesy of The Inquirer

In an age when studios jump at the chance to give new life to old, nostalgic properties such as GI Joe, Transformers, and the upcoming Power Rangers, it's no surprise that Pokémon would be on that list to be made into a live-action film.

Well, this may happen sooner than you'd think as several big Hollywood studios, including Sonly, Warner Bros., and Legendary, are currently in a bidding war for the rights to the Pokémon brand for a new live-action Pokémon movie.

THR reported just the other day that a "top-secret auction" was taking place between the three studios listed before for the rights to a "big-budget live-action" Pokémon movie.  The report talks about the drama of Chinese-owned Legendary securing the movie rights to this Japanese-owned property.  “There have been long simmering political tensions between Beijing and Tokyo, which most recently peaked with Japan’s criticism of China’s territorial ambitions in the South China Sea,” writes THR. “Those pressures have also led to a cultural strain between the two countries in which China effectively banned Japanese films for three years, which was only recently broken.”

The idea of a live-action Pokémon is one that I've definitely thought about, but never actually thought it would be feasible.  My fear is that it'll turn out like an action-packed version of the Smurfs movie with Neil Patrick Harris, a cheesy kids movie with weird CGI creatures.  I'll be holding my enthusiasm for this project until we see some sort of footage or stills, that way I'll have a better idea of what it'll look like.

First conceived in 1995, the Pokemon games let players capture various fictional creatures — including the franchise’s most iconic character, Pikachu — to train and prepare them to fight other creatures in a series of battles.  There are a total of 19 animated Pokemon films, with the first hitting theaters back in 1998 following the success of the animated TV series, which debuted in 1997.

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