Hey You Detective Pikachu! Will the First Live-Action Pokémon Film Satisfy Fans?

Lucas DeRuyter
Movies Games
Movies Games Pokémon

Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds will play the titular detective in the upcoming live-action Pokémon film, Detective Pikachu. He joins The Get Down star, Justice Smith who will co-star with Reynolds in the film. The announcement reminded the internet that a movie starring a talking Pikachu in an adorable Sherlock Holmes hat is really, actually happening.

So, here’s everything you need to know about the first ever live-action Pokémon movie and what you can expect to see in what’s sure to be an entertaining film at the very least.

A Game No One Expected

And only a few got to play.

Great Detective Pikachu was a download-only Pokémon adventure game released in Japan in early 2016. This unusual Pokémon game deviated heavily from the traditional formula of previous games and instead had players searching for clues with a talking Pikachu that only they could understand. Fans and critics alike praised the game and considered it a must-play for Pokémon fans fluent in Japanese.

When it became clear that Game Freak and Nintendo did not intend to make the game available to Western audiences, Pokémon fans started a petition for the game’s localization. While these movements were unsuccessful, bizarrely, a petition to have actor Danny DeVito voice Detective Pikachu received a startling amount of support. While the actor announced that he had little interest in the role, there are still plenty of fan-made videos demonstrating why DeVito would have been perfect for the role.

A Movie With Unusual Expectations

What we can deduce will be in the film.

As Great Detective Pikachu is an episodic game with three loosely connected mysteries to solve, the movie will probably focus on one of the biggest story points in the game: Tim Goodman’s search for his missing father. The film will more than likely begin with Tim (Justice Smith) arriving in Rhyme City, coming to Detective Pikachu’s aid, and enlisting him in the search for his father.

While this plot might seem a bit straightforward, it will provide a unique opportunity to flesh out the world of Pokémon in a way that the games weren’t able to do. While the Pokémon Adventures manga does this to some extent, the Detective Pikachu movie has the opportunity to depict what everyday life would be like in a world with Pokémon running around. This new look at the Pokémon world can even be explored from the Pokémon’s perspective, as the titular talking Pikachu could translate what other Pokémon are saying, the way Meowth from the anime does.

Finally, Pokémon can explore a world beyond Ash.

This movie has the opportunity to show what the Pokémon world is like for people who aren’t world traveling ten-year-olds. Fans of the series have always imagined what it would be like to live in a world inhabited by Pokémon, and this movie has the opportunity to demonstrate that. Even if the mystery aspect of the film turns out to be underwhelming, fans will still enjoy this one-of-a-kind look at the enchanting world of Pikachu and his fellow Pokémon.

At the very least, fans can expect a less shocking version of a talking Pikachu than what they experienced in the most recent Pokémon movie.

Lucas DeRuyter
University of Wisconsin Madison graduate with a deep interest in media, writing, and storytelling.