Warner Bros. debuted all-new Detective Pikachu footage during their panel at CinemaCon 2019. Pokémon fever has started to make a comeback in recent years, thanks largely to the release of the augmented reality game Pokémon GO in 2016. In an effort to tap into that increased demand for all things Poke-related, WB is releasing a live-action/CGI movie inspired by the Detective Pikachu spinoff video game this May, with Ryan Reynolds lending his voice to the eponymous crime-solving (and caffeine-loving) Pokémon. On the human side, Justice Smith (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) stars as Tim Goodman, a would-be Pokémon trainer who joins forces with Pikachu to find his missing father.
WB's marketing for Detective Pikachu has focused heavily on Tim and Pikachu's dynamic in the film, with Tim being (seemingly) the only human who can understand what Pikachu is saying. The movie's trailers have further highlighted the many, many Pokémon that the pair encounter over the course of their investigation, ranging from a drink-dealing Ludicolo to a decidedly angry Charizard. Fittingly, the Detective Pikachu CinemaCon sneak peek further zeroed in on an interaction between the pair and a not-so-talkative Pokémon.
The Detective Pikachu segment of WB's CinemaCon presentation kicked off with a special introduction by Reynolds' Pikachu, as the character described the film as an "original, fun" mystery that has "plenty of heart" and at least "100 unique Pokemon characters that millions from around the world know and love. Except Mr. Mime. That guy's weird". This set the stage for the following clip, which focused on a scene where Pikachu and Tim interrogate Mr. Mime for information.
While Detective Pikachu's trailers and TV spots have included a segment of the film's Mr. Mime sequence, the CinemaCon sneak peek revealed pretty much the entire thing. In order to get anything remotely useful out of him, Tim realizes he has to abide by Mr. Mime's rules and mime anything that he wants to say or do. Eventually, Tim opens an (invisible) door to the (invisible) cell that's holding Mr. Mime, mimes pouring gasoline on him, and pulls out a set of (invisible) matches. He and Pikachu then threaten to light one of the matches and set Mr. Mime ablaze, much to the latter's horror. Mr. Mime quickly starts to reveal what he knows after that (via pantomime), much to Tim's delight... who then proceeds to accidentally drop one of his (invisible) matches on the trail of (invisible) gasoline leading to Mr. Mime.
All in all, it's a pretty funny scene that comfortably walks the line between kid-friendly humor and somewhat edgier comedy intended for grownups, much like the other jokes in the Detective Pikachu footage unveiled so far. The film is expected to play equally well to nostalgic adults and younger Pokémon fans for related reasons, and promises to be one of the more memorably strange blockbusters to hit theaters this year for it. With Detective Pikachu currently tracking to open bigger than WB's hit Aquaman, it's no wonder the studio is already working on a sequel and talking up the idea of a Pokémon cinematic universe in the future.
- Detective Pikachu (2019) release date: May 10, 2019