For over two decades the Pokémon franchise has retained its global appeal and popularity, a streak that’s the result of anything but dumb luck.
Game Freak masterminded perhaps one of the most enthralling gameplay loops with the original 90s titles, a solid formula that’s required little change since besides iteration. But even taking into account the fierce competition that entails catching and breeding the perfect fighting machine or the quest to simply catch ’em all, the core of Pokémon’s success is its universal appeal.
It’s the family-friendly image that lies at the heart of both Game Freak and Nintendo’s design ethos and to unbalance the equation in either direction would surely spell disaster for all involved. With that said, there’s still room for the odd risque joke or reference to account for Pokémon’s ever-growing adult audience and nowhere is that truer than with Detective Pikachu. Given his past résumé, the casting of Ryan Reynolds in the role of the film’s titular character has raised eyebrows to no end in the build-up to release, though with early reactions proving exceptionally positive – for a video game movie – it appears, this time at least, that the risk was worth it.
Though, as expected of the actor responsible for bringing Marvel’s most foul-mouthed superhero to life in Deadpool, certain parts of his performance as Pikachu will never leave the editing room. Reynolds said as much during a recent interview with Kotaku, explaining:
Everything ran the gamut from Rated R to PG… You could probably squeeze together a Rated-R cut if someone went looking for it in the edit, I’m sure. God forbid they would.
Is said footage ever likely to see the light of day? Not in this lifetime (and certainly not to the approval of The Pokémon Company), though with the presence of mild toilet humor as seen in various trailers, whatever Reynolds came up with would assuredly have resulted in a loftier age rating. It’s somewhat a shame to see so much potential footage go to waste, especially as Reynolds says that he’d “come out with 85 options for any one joke,” but alas, such is the nature of filmmaking.
Detective Pikachu opens in North American theaters on May 10th.