SPOILERS for Pokémon Detective Pikachu ahead
Legendary's Pokémon Detective Pikachu is the first live-action movie about pocket monsters, but here's what fans can expect from the already upcoming Detective Pikachu 2. The pocket monster franchise first launched in the mid-90s, taking the world by storm with video games, a trading card game and an animated television show. The popular TV show introduced characters like Ash Ketchum and his Pikachu as well as the catchphrase "Gotta Catch 'Em All!" But though the Pokémon IP has expanded to all kinds of media, The Pokémon Company hadn't ventured into the realm of live-action film until now.
In 2016, the Pokémon brand saw a resurgence with the launch of the Pokémon GO mobile game, but the year also saw Legendary acquire the live-action Pokémon movie rights. With that deal done, Legendary announced their first live-action Pokémon movie would be based on 2016 game Detective Pikachu, It was a peculiar move since Detective Pikachu doesn't follow the most well-known story of the brand, that of a Pokémon trainer. Legendary tapped Rob Letterman to direct the live-action/CGI hybrid, with Ryan Reynolds cast as Detective Pikachu and Justice Smith leading the human cast.
Now that Detective Pikachu is hitting theaters around the world, fans may be excited to look ahead at what the future has in store for this live-action Pokémon universe. After all, with the Pokémon movie rights at Legendary, the studio has the opportunity to develop all kinds of pocket monster films. As of now, only one other live-action Pokémon movie has been confirmed; here's everything we know about Detective Pikachu 2 and future Pokémon movies.
Detective Pikachu 2 Is In The Works
In January, Legendary tapped 22 Jump Street writer Oren Uziel to pen the script for the Detective Pikachu sequel. The story of Detective Pikachu 2 is being kept under wraps, and the studio has yet to set a release date for the sequel.
Considering Legendary announced Detective Pikachu in July 2016 and the film is releasing less than three years later, the sequel could hit theaters in 2022, or late 2021 at the earliest. That's unless Legendary has cut down the time needed for post-production work, in which case it could arrive earlier. The Detective Pikachu reviews have been positive enough that the film is likely to be a success, almost guaranteeing a sequel, though the main hurdle will be Detective Pikachu's budget. But if Legendary continues moving forward with Detective Pikachu 2, it could arrive in the next three years.
Detective Pikachu Doesn't Exist At The End Of The Movie
In terms of what the Detective Pikachu sequel will be about, that's much less clear. The Detective Pikachu ending leaves a much different setup than Tim Goodman and a talking Pikachu sidekick. It's revealed that the reason Pikachu could talk is the creature contained the essence of Tim's father, Harry, who returns to human form thanks to Mewtwo. Of course, Detective Pikachu 2 could feature Tim and Harry, as played by Justice Smith and Ryan Reynolds, solving cases together with the help of Harry's Pikachu. Or perhaps Tim recruits his own Pokémon sidekick for other adventures.
But since Detective Pikachu doesn't really exist at the end of the movie (insofar as the character is a talking Pikachu with Harry's personality), perhaps the "sequel" isn't so much a direct follow-up as it is a spinoff. After all, Detective Pikachu introduces a whole world and a host of characters who could be the focus of another live-action Pokémon movie. Unfortunately, until Legendary or Uziel reveal more about what the sequel script entails, it's unclear what exactly the Detective Pikachu sequel will be about.
There Will Be More Pokémon Movies
Since Legendary has the live-action movie rights to the whole franchise, there are sure to be plenty more Pokémon films to come after Detective Pikachu. As of now, the studio is holding their plans close to the vest, not even revealing which other Pokémon movies are in development aside from Detective Pikachu 2. But considering the popularity of the brand, it's unlikely the studio would let the franchise stay dormant for long.
Certainly, the realistic looking live-action Pokémon are a highlight of Detective Pikachu and fans will no doubt be interested in many more movies set in this world. Whether those follow a standard Pokémon trainer storyline or something more off the beaten path like Detective Pikachu remains to be seen. But fans can rest assured there will be more Pokémon movies after Detective Pikachu, it's just looking like Detective Pikachu 2 will be the first of these.