When it was first announced that the world of Pokémon was finally getting a live-action film, fans all over the world of the video game, card game, and animated series were excited at the prospect of seeing their favorites come to life. Pikachu was finally becoming a live action creature, but many wondered… how?
Whoever had to create this live-action world for all of the Pokémon would have to really work closely with Japan’s The Pokémon Company to ensure these iconic characters are detailed for the hardcore fans. Fortunately, Pokémon: Detective Pikachu looks like it just did that.
Based on the popular video game of the same name, Pokémon: Detective Pikachu’s story begins when ace private eye Harry Goodman goes mysteriously missing, prompting his 21-year-old son Tim (Justice Smith) to find out what happened. Aiding in the investigation is Harry’s former Pokémon partner, Detective Pikachu: a hilariously wise-cracking, adorable super-sleuth who is a puzzlement even to himself, voiced by Ryan Reynolds (yes, THE Ryan Reynolds). Finding that they are uniquely equipped to communicate with one another, Tim and Pikachu join forces on a thrilling adventure to unravel the tangled mystery. Chasing clues together through the neon-lit streets of Ryme City — a sprawling, modern metropolis where humans and Pokémon live side by side in a hyper-realistic live-action world — they encounter a diverse cast of Pokémon characters and uncover a shocking plot that could destroy this peaceful co-existence and threaten the whole Pokémon universe.
The Nerds of Color were given a sneak preview of Detective Pikachu last week and what we’ve seen is hilarious. Warner Bros. also shared structured displays of Pokémon shown in the film, including a furry Pikachu, Snubbull, Psyduck, and the scaly head of Charizard.
Working closely with the Pokémon team in Tokyo, director Rob Letterman and his team made sure each Pokémon showed in the film was perfectly detailed in skin texture, size, and expression. In the trailer, we see a good number of Pokemon and how they would look in real life, including Doduo, Psyduck, Charizard, and scene stealer, Mr. Mime.
Actor Justice Smith was on hand to talk about the clips shown to the invited press, which were his first time seeing the clips. When asked what moment in the trailer surprised him the most, Smith shared his love for the Charizard scene.
“That very last shot, you don’t know what is about to happen, but Charizard’s mouth is open when Pikachu is falling,” Smith shared. “Just because the detail. I haven’t seen the finished film, but the detail in the scales and the saliva makes it look so real. I was a huge fan of Pokémon growing up so seeing like that is exactly how I pictured them in my head — if I imagined them to be real. That was a childhood dream come true.”
Check out the official trailer below:
Pokémon: Detective Pikachu opens in theaters on May 10, 2019.
Pokémon: Detective Pikachu stars Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool) as Detective Pikachu, Justice Smith (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) as Tim; Kathryn Newton (Lady Bird, TV’s Big Little Lies) as Lucy, a junior reporter following her first big story; and Oscar nominee Ken Watanabe (Godzilla, The Last Samurai) as Lt. Yoshida. Directed by Rob Letterman (Goosebumps, Monsters Vs. Aliens), the Pokémon: Detective Pikachu creative filmmaking team includes two-time Oscar nominated director of photography John Mathieson (The Phantom of the Opera, Gladiator), production designer Nigel Phelps (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Lies) and Oscar-winning editor Mark Sanger (Gravity). Visual effects are by Moving Picture Company (Wonder Woman) and Framestore (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2).
Launched in 1996 to overwhelming response, the Pokémon brand is a global sensation that now encompasses a robust video gaming fandom with over 300 million units sold worldwide; trading card games available in 11 languages with more than 23.6 billion cards purchased; an anime television series in its 20th season that is available in 98 countries; and animated films that have grossed more than $700 million at the box office; as well as books, manga comics, music, toys, merchandise, and apps, including the wildly popular Pokémon GO, that has been downloaded over 650 million times and is enjoyed across the globe by fans of all ages.