Pokémon: Detective Pikachu Movie Director Explains Why Ash Ketchum Wasn’t Used

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Recently, The Pokémon Company President Tsunekazu Ishihara revealed the title and logo for the upcoming live-action Pokémon: Detective Pikachu movie, alongside director Rob Letterman and actors Justice Smith and Kathryn Newton. After the reveal, the director and the cast sat down for an interview, where he talked about why Detective Pikachu was chosen as a character and Ash Ketchum, from the anime, was not. (Thanks, IGN!)


Letterman revealed that The Pokémon Company had come to him with the Detective Pikachu pitch, as Ash and the anime have already gotten many, many movies adaptations of their own. He loved the story and the heart behind it, and he decided it was a good idea to try something with a new character, but baked into the Pokémon universe.


Speaking on Detective Pikachu’s voice actor, Ryan Reynolds, Smith and Newton talked about how Reynolds was hilarious and brought Pikachu to life. “There was something delightful about that big personality and voice that he has in this small package. There’s something really fun about that idea. It sounds like a mismatch, but it’s really organic,” Letterman said.


Finally, Letterman talked about which Pokémon will appear in the game and how they will be represented in the movie. He described the work of choosing the Pokémon as a long process, collaborating with The Pokémon Company and Game Freak to narrow it down to the favorites. While Letterman professes a personal love for the original 151 Pokémon, the movie will feature Pokémon from various generations, presented as authentically as possible. The people who worked on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them are working on Detective Pikachu as well, and the characters will “look like they are alive”.


Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, starring Ryan Reynolds as the voice of Detective Pikachu, will release in theaters in Summer 2019.

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Alistair Wong
Very avid gamer with writing tendencies. Fan of Rockman and Pokémon and lots more!