No-one seems to be quite sure about what to expect with “Detective Pikachu,” the upcoming first live-action “Pokemon” movie based on one of the more eccentric parts of the franchise.
Going that route allows for the omission of Ash Ketchum, the human trainer character who has been the main character of both the anime and much of the manga associated with the franchise. The film’s director Rob Letterman spoke with IGN this week and discussed why they decided to go this route:
“It’s a really great story. It was something with a lot of heart, and it was just very unique. And because there’s already been so much work done with Ash, for the first live-action movie I thought it was a really good idea to try something new with a new character, but bake it into the universe of Pokemon. So it still follows all the rules, and we get to see a lot of our favorite things.”
Letterman was key to the casting of Ryan Reynolds as the voice of the titular yellow furball sleuth, but the real difficulty was choosing which Pokemon characters would appear. Ultimately he worked directly with The Pokémon Company and Game Freak to select the creatures for the film. He also spoke about their design:
“They’re incredibly real, you should think of it as the way (Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy character) Rocket Raccoon sits in the movie as if he’s really there. It’s that technology. The same group of people that worked on that, or worked on Jungle Book. We’ve got the people on it that worked on Fantastic Beasts. They’re technically, some of the most high-end visual effects in the world. It’s completely photorealistic, like they are alive and in the movie.”
The project was originally slated for a May 10th 2019 release but with the movie likely shifting studios from Universal to Warner Bros. Pictures – that date will likely be delayed.