Multiple movie studios are battling for the rights to turn Pokémon into a live-action movie, according to The Hollywood Reporter. A "top-secret auction" is reportedly coming to a close, with Chinese, Japanese and U.S.-based film companies vying to bring Pokémon to the big screen.
The Hollywood Reporter says that Warner Bros., Sony and Legendary — which is producing the upcoming Warcraft film — are all interested in the Pokémon franchise. THR notes that if Legendary walks away the winner — the studio is reportedly trying to "nudge" out Warner Bros. — a Chinese-owned company would own movie rights to a Japanese brand, which could stoke cultural tensions between the two countries.
To date, The Pokémon Company has produced more than 18 animated movies and feature-length television specials based on the Pokémon franchise. Pokémon celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.