Movie adaptations of video games are notorious for being not-so-great, yet video game fans worldwide are constantly hoping for the one film that breaks the trend. Now, a game that I doubt anybody thought would be getting a live-action adaptation is Pokémon.
Though Pokémon has been seeing quite a resurgence this past year, with plenty of new stuff to bring together new and old fans, a movie is not something anyone could have predicted. But, according to The Hollywood Reporter, The Pokémon Company has decided that it’s high time their beloved brand takes a step out of the cartoon, and just as anyone would expect, three of “the most powerful studios on the planet are currently battling to be the one who gets to make it happen.”
Supposedly, the film rights to the franchise have been offered up in what’s described as a “top-secret auction” in which some pretty big names are bidding. Namely, Warner Bros. (who notably was the studio behind the successful and important first movie, Mewtwo Strikes Back) and Sony; that’s right, one of Nintendo’s biggest competitors in the video game market is actively trying to acquire film rights to one of Nintendo’s biggest and most successful franchises. Could a collaboration between the two companies prove to be a total success?
Reports of negotiations with the independent studio Legendary Entertainment have also arisen, stating that LE is actually in the running for the rights above WB and Sony. This, however, is potentially proving to be difficult, as Legendary is owned by the Chinese real estate and investment conglomerate Wanda. Political tensions between Beijing and Tokyo could cause problems if Legendary were to acquire the rights, and a cultural clash between the two countries even caused China to ban Japanese films for three years. This ban was only recently broken.
However, Legendary did bring the Japanese Godzilla to the big screen in 2014, in partnership with WB, and is planning to make sequel as well as another giant monster reboot – Kong: Skull Island. Whether or not the Chinese owned company could do well with Pokémon is still up in the air.
None of the companies reportedly involved have chosen to comment on the matter, most likely due to the “top-secret” status of this auction. However, if the reports turn out to be true, there’s no doubt we’ll be hearing about this very soon, especially with the auction supposedly in its end stages.
What do you think about this? Do you think Pokémon is overdue for a live-action movie, and is this the perfect time, with Pokémon GO just on the horizon and the 20th anniversary being this year? Obviously, the movie wouldn’t be released in time for the end of 2016, but it’d be coming hot off the heels of the Year of Pokémon. Nintendo and The Pokémon Company have been actively working to expose people around the world to its IP more than ever the past year and a half, and this might be the perfect way to get more people interested (or re-interested!) in the series. At this point, I have faith that the technology is good enough to give us something stellar as long as a sizeable budget is provided. And, being Pokémon, I have no doubt that that’s what the film would get.
Personally, with it being the 20th anniversary, and Nintendo and The Pokémon Company having a tight grip on its IP, I have faith that whatever is to be created won’t be less than amazing. At this point, Nintendo can’t let (or afford) for a big project like a blockbuster movie to flop, and with a stronger-than-ever handle on everything it’s doing, there’s a great chance that this could turn out to be something awe-inspiring.
Of course, keep in mind that just because a company acquires the movie rights to something, doesn’t mean that a movie is going to get made. But I can sure say I’d like to see it happen!
What do you all think? Let us know in the comments below!