Studios Enter Bidding War for ‘Pokémon’ Live Action Movie Rights


It’s hard to find a franchise as iconic and beloved as Pokémon. There have been countless video games, movies, an anime series that’s still going, and of course, the trading card game. However, there has yet to be a live action, big budget movie adapting this saga. But it looks like that is all about to change.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, The Pokémon Company has been courting Hollywood to develop a live action tentpole film. Currently, Legendary Entertainment and Warner Bros. Pictures are competing to purchase the film rights to the property. Additionally, Sony Pictures is “very interested.”

THR suggests that Legendary has a very good shot at landing the rights to Pokémon. However, one thing that could keep that deal from closing is the fact that Legendary is owned by China’s Dalian Wanda Group, while Pokémon is a property owned by Japan. So, Legendary making a Pokémon movie could cause political tensions between the two countries. However, Legendary already has experience with Japanese properties after 2014’s Godzilla. The studio will then work with Warner Bros. to release a sequel, as well as crossover film Godzilla vs. Kong.

Warner Bros. is also considered an “early favorite.” That studio had previously distributed Pokémon animated films, such as 1999’s Pokémon: The First Movie. If WB were to get the rights, it would add yet another potential franchise to the studio’s slate, joining DC Films, LEGO, Harry Potter/Fantastic Beasts, Hanna-Barbera and more.

Like countless other people, I was a fan of Pokémon as a kid. I loved the trading cards, I loved the video games (Pokémon: Silver Version on Game Boy Color was my jam), and I loved the movies and show. However, as I grew older, I’ve lost interest in the franchise. Maybe a live action movie will rekindle my interest. We’ll see.

What do you think of Pokémon coming to the big screen in a Hollywood-produced, live action film? And if such a movie is made, which studio should earn the rights?


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