Are Nintendo thinking about handing out licensing for their properties to be turned into movies? It has come to light that Warner Bros., Legendary Pictures, and Sony are all competing to get the rights to make a live action Pokémon movie. This came as a surprise, since Nintendo swore off Hollywood for twenty years after the cheesy Super Mario Bros. movie, and then their first deal with tinsel town was to let Adam Sandler mess around with their beloved characters in the god awful Pixels. Still, the idea of a live action Pokémon is quite appealing and we explore six reasons why it could make a fantastic movie.
6. A Unique Kind of Sports Movie
Pokémon could be categorized under a number of different genres, but in context, the world and battles are heavily based around a sport. Okay, it is legalised cock fighting but with a bit more glitz and finesse to it. But the style and emphasis on strategy and skills, combined with the excitement and fun of the Pokémon battles could truly be a spectacle to watch. Pokémon inspires friendly competition, trying new things, taking chances, and to be the very best like no one ever was. The battles have their own rules, the Pokémon are never killed or severely injured so moral guardians will be kept at bay (unless they are PETA), and the clever strategies and unpredictability of the Pokémon and their trainers can make each match very different and imaginative.
5. Legendary Pictures
Personally speaking, I think Legendary would be the best choice to handle the film. Warner Bros. has past experience with Pokémon licensing, and Sony shouldn’t be allowed any respectable property with a 20-foot barge pole. Because of their track record handling monsters with the awesome Pacific Rim and fun Godzilla, Legendary could do a good job bringing the Pokémon to the big screen. They would be able to capture the scale and awe of the various Pokémon, and make their attacks and powers look amazing, like they did with Godzilla’s iconic atomic breath.
4. A Coming of Age Story
With Pokémon, you could follow any story you wanted, but I suspect the script will follow the core plot of the games and anime – the protagonist, a young Pokémon trainer strives to catch ‘em all and defeat gyms to reach the Pokémon League. So whether it is Red, Ash Ketchum, or another of the numerous characters seeking to make their way in the world, the hero should go through a coming of age story. Ash would be a good choice, not just for nostalgic purposes, but because he is a character who has gone through some tough times and had to make adult decisions despite being an immortal, idiotic ten-year old.
For example, if I were writing the script for this film (I wish!), Ash would be the protagonist, slightly older, and still maturing as he went on his journey. On his mind is solely his goal to enter the Pokémon League and win it, but then he would have to face bigger, earthly things such as one of the many criminal syndicates trying to control a legendary Pokémon, or even something a little closer to home.
In the Broadway musical Pokémon Live (yes, really), Ash learns his mother was old friends with Team Rocket leader Giovanni and he has to deal with the idea that his mum used to be on the bad side of town and some things are more important than winning a badge. I can imagine him or any other character going through some sort of similar story, becoming more mature based on the decisions they make.