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A bidding war to make a live-action Pokemon movie is winding down

04.15.2016

pokemon, pikachu

Let me be frank with you right out of the gate... I don't really know much about Pokemon. In fact, outside of Pikachu, who I at least know exists, my knowledge of Pokemon is non-existant. But I do know that it's ridiculously popular and has been for a long time, and that Pokemon cards and video games are major money makers as a result of such fandom. Therefore, it only makes sense that a live-action Pokemon movie would be something studios would be interested in making to capitalize on such brand devotion. And now we have a bidding war on our hands as the battle to secure those rights starts to wind down. 

A top secret auction is happening with both Warner Bros. and Sony duking it out to try to land Pokemon for their libraries, but ultimately the property may wind up falling into neither of those studios' hands. Legendary Pictures is making a serious play to come away with those Pokemon rights, and, while it may not seem like a big deal on the surface, there are some cultural tensions that could make for a rocky relationship.

The Pokemon Company is a Japanese company responsible for the marketing and licensing of all things Pokemon. Legendary Pictures was bought in recent history by the Chinese conglomerate Wanda. And China and Japan don't really get along all that well these days. Japan has been extremely critical of China's activities in the South China Sea. And up until recently, China had a ban on Japanese films for three years. Needless to say, a Chinese company being involved with such a beloved Japanese property may rub some the wrong way. 

In the end though, money ultimately trumps all, and, if a Pokemon movie can make everyone involved some big bucks, stranger bedfellows have been made in the past. We'll have to see how the bidding ultimately turns out, but Pokemon fans should be excited one way or another. A live-action Pokemon flick is definitely coming.

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