Does Ash Ketchum Exist In The Pokémon Movie Universe? Detective Pikachu's Director Won't Say

Pokémon Detective Pikachu will be hitting the big screen tonight for Thursday previews, but the film's director is unsure if famed Pokémon catcher Ash Ketchum will be making an appearance in its cinematic universe. The upcoming release follows Tim (Justice Smith) as he partners up with the film's titular character to solve a mystery surrounding Tim's father's mysterious disappearance. The Warner Bros. production had a budget of $150 million, which makes sense considering the incredible amount of time and effort that went into creating life-like live-action Pokémon, but there's no doubt that the adorable family-friendly flick will make that much back, plus extra.

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Detective Pikachu is easily one of the most anticipated films of 2019 as well. The voice behind the adorable super-sleuth, Ryan Reynolds, has enjoyed promoting the upcoming movie, even going as far as to jokingly leak a fake copy of Detective Pikachu online. With this being Pokémon's first foray into the live-action circuit, many lifelong fans had their doubts about how the creatures would turn out. Thankfully, everyone's assumptions were put to ease once footage came out, which is especially heartening after the Sonic the Hedgehog trailer dropped on the internet to a slew of criticism.

Related: Who is Mewtwo? Detective Pikachu's Legendary Pokémon Explained

The real question here, though, is where is Ash Ketchum? The Pokémon trainer was Pikachu's right-hand man in the original animated series, so it only makes sense to wonder if he'll be making an appearance in this blossoming universe. Screen Rant tackled this question during an interview with the film's director, Rob Letterman. He stated:

We haven’t thought through where we land in the overall timeline of the Pokémon universe, but we’re connected in one big universe. We didn’t work out where in time we are, because this is just the first entrée into exploring the world of Pokémon in live-action.

Detective Pikachu Justice Smith
Justice Smith in Pokémon Detective Pikachu

This answer does make sense, as Detective Pikachu aims to be the lead-in for Pokémon's cinematic universe. It also serves as a great way to introduce those that are new to the franchise to all of the creatures involved in this world, 54 Pokémon to be exact. It's also a nice way to get kids involved with the franchise. The PG rating is a welcoming one for families who wish to take their kids to a family-friendly adventure film, even though the adults may be more than a little curious to see what Ryan Reynolds' R-rated cut would have been like.

In a cinematic world that's flooded with superhero movies, Detective Pikachu is a nice breath of fresh air for people of all ages who long to see something a little different at the movie theater. It's also a tremendous feat for live-action. This film has truly shown audiences what all can be possible with incredibly well-done and realistic CGI. Disney has also made leaps and bounds with CGI, namely with its 2016 release of The Jungle Book and its upcoming remake of The Lion King. These movies have all shown what's possible nowadays when it comes to filmmaking, and that the limits are seemingly endless when you dedicate enough time and energy into creating something that the world deems impossible.

Next: Detective Pikachu Is What Fantastic Beasts Should Have Been

Key Release Dates
  • Detective Pikachu (2019) release date: May 10, 2019
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