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Could a Live-Action Pokemon Film Be Happening?

For as long as the Pokemon franchise has existed, fans have wondered what a live-action take on the series could look like. Many likely wrote off such an idea as ludicrous given the cartoony nature of the property, simply noting that the violence that’s masked by the turn-based and child-friendly art style of the games doesn’t seem to lend itself well to a real-world revision. Based on recent reports, however, a live-action film based on the Pocket Monster IP might actually happen in the near future.

According to Hollywood Reporter, a massive and top-secret bidding war is winding down after the rights to a live-action Pokemon movie went up for sale. Major studios such as Sony, Warner Bros., and Legendary Entertainment have all allegedly been offering up sums in order secure the film, and it sounds as if Legendary may have gotten the job done.

Apparently Warner Bros. was initially the early favorite for the film rights since it was responsible for releasing the Pokemon: The First Movie back in 1999, where it proceeded to gross $165 million across box offices worldwide. The studio also handled two additional films in the form of Pokemon: The Movie 2000 (which made almost $134 million at the box office) and Pokemon 3: The Movie (which generated $68 million while in theaters). However, the former frontrunner sounds to have fallen by the wayside in the wake of a better offer from its competition.

Despite the premise of such a product sounding rather crazy, Legendary seems like a good fit for a live-action Pokemon movie. Setting aside the ongoing tension between China and Japan – something of relevance following the acquisition of Legendary by a Chinese real estate and investment firm called Wanda – Legendary has still managed to work with Toho Co. just recently in order to give Godzilla a significantly more Western spin. Surprisingly, the license holders for Japan’s ever-massive, fire-breathing lizard also coincidentally made the animated Pocket Monster films.

Regardless of whether or not these reports end up being true, there’s still potential for such a project to get stuck in development hell given all of its moving pieces. With that said, if Legendary forked over a significant amount of cash then it will likely be looking for a return on its investment relatively soon. Keeping in mind that it’s the 20th anniversary of Pokemon, such a deal does make a lot of sense for a firm that’s done a rather solid job on cashing in on nostalgia for its immensely popular gaming property.

Of course, these are all just rumors until a studio confirms plans to make a live-action Pokemon film. In the meantime, fans can at least look forward to a brand new pair of games later this year in the form of Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon on the Nintendo 3DS.

Do you think a live-action Pokemon movie could work? Which actors would you like to see star in such a film? Get at us in the comments.

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