According to The Hollywood Reporter, an auction for the rights to a live-action Pokémon film has Legendary Entertainment, Warner Bros. and Sony caught up in a bidding war. It’s also mentioned that the auction is about to close, and that Legendary looks set to snag the deal.
If Legendary does win the rights and produce the film, the fact that the studio is owned by China’s Dalian Wanda group could stir up controversy, as Japanese movies were banned in the country for the past three years, to be re-approved just recently. But despite this and the historical tension between the two countries, the 2014 Godzilla movie stands as evidence of the strong relationship between Legendary and the Japanese entertainment industry, particularly the Pokémon movie studio Toho.
Warner has released several of the animated Pokémon films, including Pokémon: The First Movie in 1999, and followed by Pokémon 2000 and Pokémon 3 – The Movie, but it seems they’ll be sitting this live-action project out. The new animated film in the franchise, Pokémon the Movie XY & Z: Volcanion to Karakuri no Magearna, is set to open in Japan on July 16th this year, and in anticipation of its release, the Pokémon Company has set up the largest ever Pokémon general election. Japanese fans can vote for their favourite of 720 monsters from April 16th till May 8th, and when the results are announced at the June 7th special event in Tokyo, the winner will become a bonus prize for any Omega Ruby or Alpha Sapphire 3DS player who buys an advance ticket to the movie.