About two decades ago, the world was introduced to the world of ‘Pokemon’ and immediately felt the need to catch them all. Since then, the franchise expanded from video games on multiple platforms to comics, manga, toys, TV shows, and much more. Of course, there is considerably more than 150 these days, but a whole new generation is out there still trying to do just that while training to be Pokemon Masters like Ash Ketchum, Misty, and Brock. However, there’s a completely different battle going on during this year that we celebrate the franchise’s twentieth anniversary that could have some awesome ramifications for long-time fans.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Nintendo has recently made it known in Hollywood that they intend to make a live-action ‘Pokemon’ movie and three studios have shown great interest in the property. First, Warner Bros., who distributed the first three animated feature films theatrically, became an early contender in the top secret auction taking place for the rights. Then, Sony Pictures expressed that they are “very interested” in making the film. The big surprise though is that Legendary Pictures has emerged late in the game and has taken over the frontrunner position. But there may be a little snag if they win out in the end.
Legendary has a very impressive resume for being such a relatively young company. They’ve had a hand in ‘Watchmen’, Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, ‘300’, and ‘Jurassic World’. Furthermore, the latest incarnation of ‘Godzilla’ from Gareth Edwards has lead to a working relationship with Japan’s Toho Company, who not only have connections to the King of the Monsters, but to Pikachu and his pals as well. However, Legendary is now owned by The Wanda Group from China, a country that has had quite a bit of tension with Japan both in politics and in entertainment. With ‘Pokemon’ being a beloved Japanese property, there could be a great deal of friction if a Chinese-owned company scoops up the film rights.
At the end of the day though, it looks like we’ll be getting a live-action adaptation of ‘Pokemon’ sooner rather than later and that’s ridiculously awesome (as long as it doesn’t cause an international incident). Whichever studio lands the rights will essentially be printing money (if they attach the proper talent to the project) since it will be sure to grab the generation that grew up with the franchise on top of their current audience. And for all we know, maybe they’ll call upon some cast members from ‘Pokemon LIVE!’ to reprise their roles. I mean, Tony-winning actor Andrew Rannells (who has appeared in ‘Book of Mormon’, ‘Hamilton’, and more) as Team Rocket member James still looks like a good fit.
What do you think about a live-action ‘Pokemon’ movie? Which studio do you think the project would fit best? Which Pokemon are you most excited to see “in real life” on the big screen? And don’t you agree that ‘Pokemon LIVE!’ deserves a revival? Sound off in the comments.
Despite being a “professional writer”, Ben likes run-on sentences and puns far too much. Also, you seriously should listen to the ‘Pokemon LIVE!’ soundtrack on YouTube if you weren’t lucky enough to see it back in 2000-2001. For more of his attempts at being funny and the occasional insightful thought, follow him on Twitter and Instagram.