It’s sounding like Legendary Pictures, Nintendo and GameFreak are very confident about the prospects of Detective Pikachu. An adaptation of the Nintendo 3DS game of the same name, the film’s bonkers concept of a Ryan Reynolds-voiced hard-bitten Pikachu solving a series of mysterious crimes had most people scratching their heads after the first trailer. Since then, however, it’s picked up some good buzz and had some excellent test screenings, and if it lives up to expectations, it looks like it could spawn a full-on Pokémon cinematic universe.
In fact, sources close to We Got This Covered have revealed that Legendary would like nothing more than to bring a live-action Ash Ketchum to the screen. For those who don’t know, Ash is the lead character of the long-running Pokémon anime, having been introduced in the first episode in 1997 where his adventures alongside Brock, Misty and his trusty Pikachu helped propel the franchise to global fame.
One interesting question here though is where Legendary plan to slot Ash in. After all, despite being closely associated with the series, he’s never appeared in a mainline Pokémon title (I think his only video game appearance to date is in spinoff Pokemon Puzzle League for the N64). So, where exactly will he fit in?
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Well, we’ve already gotten word that Legendary are planning at least two spinoffs. One will feature Mewtwo, which might mean they’re adapting Pokemon: The First Movie – Mewtwo Strikes Back to live-action. That film featured Ash (with a seriously tearjerking ending), but there’s already a CGI Mewtwo Strikes Back recreation in development in Japan, so they may go for a completely separate plotline. Perhaps more likely is that Ash will get folded into their plans to adapt Pokemon Red and Blue for the screen. Red, the hero of these games, is a blank player avatar, so it might make sense to slot Ash in to give him a little more personality.
Either way, it’s looking like Legendary are determined to take inspiration from every corner of the Pokémon franchise. Could it only be a matter of time before we see a big budget adaptation of Pokémon Snap? Time will tell, but for now, you can look forward to Detective Pikachu arriving on May 10th.