From some raised eyebrows to genuine excitement, the trailers for the upcoming 2019 film “Detective Pikachu” have garnered varied responses from fans and audiences.
To many fans’ surprise, Ryan Reynolds, best known for his role as the fourth wall-breaking anti-hero Deadpool, is voicing Pikachu.
Based off of the video game of the same name, “Detective Pikachu” is a neo-noir comedy film revolving around the iconic electric Pokémon and a young man looking for his missing father. Justice Smith plays the lead, Tim Goodman.
According to Screen Rant, other actors considered for the role of Pikachu included Danny DeVito, Dwayne Johnson, Mark Wahlberg, and Hugh Jackman.
The film is directed by Rob Letterman, with the screenplay written by Nicole Perlman.
Perlman is best known for writing the first draft of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1” before James Gunn was hired for rewrites.
She is also one of seven writers credited for the upcoming Marvel superhero film, “Captain Marvel.”
Letterman has a few successful films under his belt, such as “Shark Tale,” “Monsters vs. Aliens,” and 2015’s “Goosebumps” film.
His experience in both animation and live-action filmmaking seems to make him the obvious choice for the task of blending real environments with colorful CGI characters.
When the first trailer was released Nov. 12, it became an instant hot topic, drawing in around 46 million views on YouTube and trending nationally on various social media platforms.
It even outshone Pixar’s much-anticipated “Toy Story 4” trailer.
Part of the buzz around the film comes from the bizarreness of choosing the more obscure “Detective Pikachu” game to adapt.
The more obvious option seemed to be a live-action adaptation of the beloved television shows and films of the 1990s and 2000s.
Instead, the new film seems to be setting itself apart from its predecessors as a more ironic and self-referential take on the franchise.
Much of the excitement, however, stems from the fact that it is not just the first live-action Pokémon movie, but the first to be planned for a wide theatrical release in the U.S. instead of Japan.
Not everyone is as optimistic about the quality of this upcoming film, considering films based off of video games have historically been critically panned.
Movies such as “Doom,” “Tomb Raider,” “Mortal Kombat,” “Super Mario Bros.,” and the “Resident Evil” have all managed to prove to fans just how poorly done many of these adaptations can be.
Fans are likewise divided about the appearances and textures of the Pokémon characters, which are aiming at a fuzzier and more photorealistic take than in the video games.
Others have voiced their disapproval of the fact that Pikachu now speaks English instead of Japanese—though his high-pitched “pika” sounds are still voiced by the original Japanese voice actress, Ikue Ōtani.
The film is set to be the first part of a series of films as joint ventures by Legendary Pictures and the Pokémon Company.
“Detective Pikachu” will be released on May 10, 2019.