Even from the earliest trailers, Pokémon fans and critics alike could tell that Detective Pikachu was aiming for a reputation above that of its forebears.
This particular box office hit is the first of its kind, of course, but in the realm of video game adaptations, The Pokémon Company’s first foray into live-action cinema is but the latest in a long line of such mergers. Despite several brave attempts, only disappointment and ridicule has followed the marriage of film and video game, and it’s an unenviable streak that Detective Pikachu has finally brought to an end.
Such is the brand’s global fanbase, production company Legendary clearly knew the importance of having a respect for the source material, a genuine appreciation that stretches to encompass every facet of the film. From faithful Pokémon designs to Dan Hernandez and Benji Samit’s universally inclusive script at the film’s heart, never is there a shortage of spectacle or fan service. For the latter in particular, however, both writers knew from the start that one key component of the film had to be the legendary Mewtwo.
In a recent sit down with ComicBook.com, Samit discussed both his and Hernandez’s decision to have Mewtwo be in the movie as a result of his unique nature and personality. “I think that Mewtwo is such an interesting and complicated character that we wanted to capture an etherealness to that, to his voice and to its point of view,” says Samit, who adds that he wanted to make sure those qualities shone through via their dialogue. “There is sort of like a prescience of understanding that Mewtwo possesses and we felt like when we were writing Mewtwo’s dialogue that had to be present.”
A fascinating insight into one of the franchise’s most iconic characters, no doubt. More than any ‘Mon, Mewtwo is an outlier in the sense that it’s capable of human speech, but beyond that – its origins and motivations are equally interesting. I’m sure I speak for many in saying that Hernandez and Samit knocked its characterization out of the park for Detective Pikachu.
Moreover, it’s likely due to Mewtwo’s memorability that The Pokémon Company has opted to remake the original film in which he appeared. Unlike the hand-drawn original, Pokémon The Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution is entirely CGI and is due to release next month in Japan. See here for all the details.