Why ‘Pokemon’s First Live-Action Movie Is About ‘Detective Pikachu’ and Not Ash

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The Pokemon Company’s first live-action film is all about Detective Pikachu and not Ash Ketchum, the protagonist throughout the animated series, a decision that resulted from the company wanting to use a new main character for a change.

A movie that mixes live-action scenes and CGI with the same name as its featured character, Detective Pikachu is one of the most talked about topics at the Pokemon World Championships 2018 that are going on now in Nashville, Tennessee. New details about the movie have emerged during the Pokemon convention that include information about battle scenes and more through opportunities to speak with the movie’s director, Rob Letterman, and other members of the film’s team. IGN spoke to Letterman at the event and asked why Ash wasn’t featured in the film, a character that seems like he’d be the most obvious fit for a venture into live-action movies, and Letterman explained that the idea started with The Pokemon Company.

“The Pokemon Company, they’ve already made many, many movies of Ash, and they came to Legendary with this idea of using a new character. So when I came onboard, I was pitched this character of Detective Pikachu, and I fell in love with the story behind it,” Letterman told IGN. “It’s a really great story. It was something with a lot of heart, and it was just very unique. And because there’s already been so much work done with Ash, for the first live-action movie I thought it was a really good idea to try something new with a new character, but bake it into the universe of Pokemon. So it still follows all the rules, and we get to see a lot of our favorite things.”

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Detective Pikachu, as its name suggests, is centered entirely around the Electric Pokemon who takes on a Sherlock Holmes-like personal to solve mysteries. He’s voided by Ryan Reynolds, though there were theories and suggestions preceding the casting decision from those who had different ideas regarding who should take on the iconic role of Pikachu. Letterman also spoke to IGN about the casting decision and said that though the actor and the character might not seem like the most obvious fit, they pair well together.

“There was something delightful about that big personality and voice that he has in this small package,” he said. “There’s something really fun about that idea. It sounds like a mismatch, but it’s really organic. It’s really hilarious, they’re hilarious together.”

The logo for the film was also revealed during the Pokemon World Championships as well as through the official Pokemon Twitter account. If you’re not sure what’s going on with the story of Detective Pikachu, you can get caught up in just one minute by watching this video.

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