Pokémon, sometimes referred to with its full name Pocket Monsters in Japan, is having quite a year. First released in Japan in 1996, it is celebrating its 20th anniversary, with a new game coming in the Fall. Its animated television series and movies are pretty much an annual thing, but is the franchise ready for a live-action movie?
If the rumors are true, there could be one in the planning stages, but first it has to get a movie studio behind it. In what is billed as a "top-secret auction" for the rights to the rights for the movie, three companies are in competition. Who are the three trainers?
Warner Bros. is said to be one of them. WB distrubuted the very first Pokémon movie in the United States. They went on to distribute more of the early movies and are the parent company of Cartoon Network, who has been airing the television series. Recent Pokémon movies also have been airing on Cartoon Network.
Another contender for the rights is Sony. Sony, like Nintendo and The Pokémon Company who co-own Pokémon, have roots in Japan. Sony also was rumored to be in talks to produce a Mario movie based on the famous Nintendo mascot. On the videogame side though, Nintendo and Sony are rivals.
The upstart in all of this is Legendary Pictures. Legendary, who have produced such movies as Godzilla (2014) and Pacific Rim, was recently purchased by the Chinese conglomerate Wanda. Legendary is said to be pursing this "aggressively".
Not mentioned to be in negotiations is Disney, who previously owned Miramax Films (sold in 2010) which also distributed some of the Pokémon animated films. Disney themselves have been making live-action versions of their animated properties.
At any rate, we'll be watching to see who wins the championship and captures the elusive Pokémon license.