ByElise Jost, writer at
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Elise Jost

Could you picture a real-life version of Ash? Are you already wildly scanning through your favorite actors in your head to picture which one of them could bring him to life on the big screen? The Pokémon Company is selling the rights to a live-action Pokémon adaptation, and as you can imagine, the bidding is intense.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. and Legendary Entertainment are the main bidders, with Sony also being interested. But it's the Chinese-owned Legendary Entertainment that seems to be getting to the front of the race, which could pose some problems in light of the historical tension between China and Japan.

Legendary Entertainment Is The No. 1 Bidder

'Pokémon: The First Movie' / Warner Bros.
'Pokémon: The First Movie' / Warner Bros.

Having released the animated Pokémon: The First Movie in 1999, which went on to gross $165 million worldwide, Warner Bros. was said to have its chances. But as the auction's parties are about to reach an agreement, Legendary Entertainment now seems to be the favorite.

'Godzilla' / Warner Bros.
'Godzilla' / Warner Bros.

Ironically, their previous work on Japanese franchises was made in partnership with Warner Bros., for Godzilla in 2014 as well as the upcoming Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla 2.

Can China Produce A Pokémon Movie?

The issue with Legendary Entertainment being the current favorite for the rights to the Pokémon movie is the fact that they were recently bought by the Chinese Dalian Wanda Group, the world's largest cinema chain operator.

Considering the deeply-rooted tension between China and Japan, it could be tricky for a Chinese corporation to own the rights to such an iconic Japanese franchise. It's a tension that's been palpable on the territorial level as well as the cultural one: China just recently lifted its three-year ban on Japanese movies.

A banner in Lijiang, Yunnan, in 2013
A banner in Lijiang, Yunnan, in 2013

As the companies involved declined to comment, we'll have to wait and see if the diplomatic factor can in any way affect the production of the movie.

Would you like to see a live-action Pokémon movie, or would you rather just stick to the animated versions?

Source: The Hollywood Reporter


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