Could a Live Action Pokemon Movie Be On the Way?

ashpikachu
(Photo: The Pokemon Company)

A live action Pokemon movie could soon be a reality. According to a new report by Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros and Legendary are in a high stakes bidding war over the live action movie rights to Pokemon, the popular video game franchise. The report claims that Legendary is the current front runner for the movie rights, even though Warner Bros. had success with the first animated Pokemon movie over 15 years ago. If successful, Legendary would develop the movie into a big budget live action film, presumably based on Ash (the protagonist of the companion anime series) and his partner Pikachu.

However, Legendary's pursuit of a live action Pokemon movie isn't without issues. The report notes that Legendary is owned by a Chinese conglomerate and that political tensions between China and Japan could complicate Legendary's bid for the Pokemon rights. However, Legendary has already gotten involved with one major Japanese movie franchise, having produced the 2014 American adaptation of Godzilla.

To date, there's been eighteen animated Pokemon movies, with a nineteenth movie out this summer. All of the movies have featured Ash, Pikachu, and other characters from the long running anime series. The Pokemon franchise has experienced renewed interest this year as Nintendo and the Pokemon Company (which owns the rights to Pokemon) celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the original Pokemon games. Pokemon is one of the top selling video game franchises of all time, with two new games, Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon, out later this year.

(via Hollywood Reporter)