At this weekend’s Pokémon World Championships, The Pokémon Company president Tsunekazu Ishihara revealed the movie would be titled Pokémon: Detective Pikachu and showed a logo to remind everyone it was due out on 10th May 2019.
Afterward, IGN had the chance to chat with director Rob Letterman about the idea behind the project:
The Pokemon Company, they’ve already made many, many movies of Ash, and they came to Legendary with this idea of using a new character. So when I came on board, I was pitched this character of Detective Pikachu, and I fell in love with the story behind it…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.
Lead cast members Justice Smith and Kathryn Newton also mentioned how Ryan Reynolds brought out the best out in Pikachu with his voice acting:
He’s hilarious, and he just brought so much to the character…He brought Pikachu to life.
On the subject of the Pokémon in the movie, Letterman said it was a challenge to narrow down the list. Fortunately, he was able to work closely with many talented individuals:
There was a long process, before [Smith and Newton] were even involved, of working closely with The Pokemon Company, with Game Freak, with [The Pokemon Company president] Ishihara-san, [Pokemon illustrator] Sugimori-san, and the whole team. Of going through every single Pokemon, different evolutions, and really narrowing down not only the favorites - which, we tried to do as many of those as possible. But also, what worked in the story, and from the visual effects teams’ point of view, what would actually work really well for a live-action movie.
Mr. Letterman also revealed he was fond of the original generation of pocket monsters but was aiming to incorporate a wide range from both newer and older generations.
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