Live-Action ‘Pokemon’ Movie Sparks a Bidding War Among Studios
With studios vying to capitalize on nostalgia with reboots of beloved properties from your childhood, a live-action Pokemon movie was probably (definitely) inevitable. It’s one of the most popular franchises on the planet, with a series of animated shows and films, video games and toys. And soon it will become a live-action movie, as Legendary, Sony and Warner Bros. are locked in a bidding war over the rights to bring Pikachu & Co. back to the big screen.
As THR reports, The Pokemon Co. has held a private auction for the rights to a live-action Pokemon film based on the long-running franchise, which began life as a pair of video games and rapidly expanded to animated shows and films, comic books, toys, trading card games and pretty much everything else. With its merchandising and fan base already well-established, a Pokemon film is a guaranteed box office success, so it’s hardly surprising that Sony, WB and Legendary are battling it out for the rights to rake in some of the easiest money they’ll ever make.
What makes this news a bit more interesting is that Pokemon originated in Japan, while Legendary was recently acquired by China’s Wanda Group.
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.