Pikachu speaks - and sounds suspiciously like Ryan Reynolds - in the Pokémon: Detective Pikachu trailer. The live-action/CGI movie's Detective Pikachu also has realistic fur and features, making him a far cry from his cartoony counterpart in the Pokémon video games and 2D animated films/TV shows.
Legendary announced plans for their live-action Pokémon movie back in 2016, with Alex Hirsch (Gravity Falls) and Nicole Perlman (Guardians of the Galaxy) onboard as the film's writers. It was later revealed that the movie is based on the Detective Pikachu games and is being directed by Rob Letterman of Monsters vs. Aliens and Goosebumps fame. Detective Pikachu officially began filming near the start of this year, with Reynolds voicing the titular character opposite a human cast that includes Justice Smith (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom), Kathryn Newton (Blockers), Ken Watanabe (Godzilla), and Suki Waterhouse (Assassination Nation), among others.
Warner Bros. (which acquired Detective Pikachu from Universal earlier this year) has released the official Detective Pikachu trailer online, ahead of its premiere in theaters this weekend with the studio's Wizarding World sequel, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Take a look in the space below, then check out the film's poster.
In addition to offering the first look at Reynolds as a live-action Pikachu, the Detective Pikachu trailer introduces the film's setting of Rhyme City - a "sprawling, modern metropolis where humans and Pokémon live side by side in a hyper-realistic live-action world". As the trailer reveals, the movie follows 21-year old Tim (Smith), a wannabe Pokémon trainer, as he searches for his missing dad - private eye Harry Goodman - with the aid of his father's partner Pikachu, whom only Tim can understand. The trailer also include brief appearances by Newton as junior reporter Lucy (who joins Tim and Pikachu on their quest, in the hope of landing her first big scoop), as well as the live-action CGI versions of Pokémon like Jigglypuff, Charizard, and Mr. Mime, among others.
All in all, the Detective Pikachu trailer footage has a distinct noir/detective buddy comedy vibe that's somewhat reminiscent of this past summer's puppet comedy, The Happytime Murders (though, obviously, the former is far more family-friendly that the Jim Henson Company's R-rated box office bomb). While the 3D animated versions of the Pokémon themselves looks pretty good here, it's definitely going to take some time for everyone to adjust to Deadpool's voice coming out of Pikachu's mouth. Still, Letterman and his writers have a pretty strong track record when it comes to crowd-pleasing franchise fare between them, and that certainly bodes well for Detective Pikachu as a whole (Reynolds' arguably ill-fitting voice work and all).
Source: Warner Bros.
- Detective Pikachu (2019) release date: May 10, 2019