Ryan Reynolds Is Detective Pikachu In The Detective Pikachu Movie, Which Impossibly Is Still Something That Is Happening
This pseudo-Pokemon adaptation is actually happening, and now Deadpool is involved.
Don’t get me wrong: the concept of a live-action Pokemon movie isn’t all that strange. The brand had a massive resurgence with the release of Pokemon Go last year (JESUS CHRIST IT WAS ONLY LAST YEAR), and the grand ol’ wheel of nostalgia has recently spun on the video game franchise, letting it completely count as a cultural touchstone. So Hollywood taking that and squeezing the shit out of it for all that the property’s worth is, really, par for the course.
But it’s not the mere act of adapting Pokemon that is so bizarre — it’s the way that Legendary (who snagged the brand’s film rights shortly after Pokemon Go first broke out) have decided to do it: a live-action/CGI hybrid Detective Pikachu movie. Yes, a weird spin-off side of the franchise that 95% of the fanbase has never directly experienced, and is as tangential from the core Pokemon franchise as you can get. THAT’S what some executive thinks will be a huge profit maker. Choosing it as the source of Pokemon’s first trip to the big screen (in live action form, anyways) is just as silly as Nintendo refusing again and again to make a AAA, open world Pokemon RPG for consoles (IT’S SO OBVIOUS NINTENDO JUST DO IT, YOU’LL MAKE BILLIONS, UGH.)
But if I had my doubts that this weird take on the franchise would actually ever see the light of day, I better bite my tongue — the project is almost certainly happening, and there’s no better way to confirm such a thing than by casting an actor to provide a voice for the titular character. And if this project wasn’t weird enough, why not add a dose of Ryan Reynolds to the mix?
Yes, according to THR, Reynolds has snagged the lead role (?) in Detective Pikachu, providing the voice of the famed yellow, electric mouse…thing. Which, I mean…whatever man. There’s nothing about this that feels “right” (as far as anything as uniquely cartoony as Pokemon going live-action can feel right), but I still have no idea just what the fuck this movie is going to be. The most likely answer is a family-friendly “wacky” comedy, with Reynolds making poop jokes and dancing to Taylor Swift songs and basically doing anything else that a live-action Smurf, Easter Bunny, or Marmaduke is prone to get into. OR it could be a sweet, funny little movie like Paddington, one that appeals to children just as well as it does to adults.
But, no, it will probably be the first one.
Still, let’s just rack up the oddities of this movie thus far: seeing a CGI Pikachu interacting with a bunch of live-action actors? Weird. Having said Pikachu talk? Weirder. Voice of said Pikachu being Deadpool? Weirdest. Having that Pikachu solving mysteries, with at least two young adults (previously cast Justice Smith and Kathryn Newton) at his side?
If there’s any consolation, it’s that the two people tasked with writing the script are actually pretty talented: Nicole Perlman (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Alex Hirsch (Gravity Falls). Then again, “consolation” might be a bit of a stretch, since it seems likely they are wasting their talents on something uniquely beneath them. Then again, it gives them both a chance to get some of that hot hot Pikachu money, so good for them there, I guess.
And who knows: maybe the final product could end up being surprisingly good. Lord knows I never expected to like the previously mentioned Paddington. Could Detective Pikachu be the Japanese Paddington? Err, probably not. More likely it will be yet another video game movie that went uniquely bizarre in its adaption process for no damn good reason, and became terrible because of it (think Super Mario Bros., Resident Evil, etc.) Then again, maybe I’m just salty because I was 100% Team Danny De Vito for the main role.
We were robbed, internet. We were robbed.
Originally published at Freshly Popped Culture.