It’s not enough to have one cool movie in theatres nowadays. Audiences expect to see interlocking stories in a larger cinematic universe. Marvel Studios and DC have been the most successful at establishing connecting stories. But other properties like THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS and the horror-driven CONJURING franchises have explored various avenues of their sagas, to wildly successful results.
You might not expect it, but the upcoming POKÉMON DETECTIVE PIKACHU is also hoping to establish a larger universe that could be explored in numerous films. And they wouldn’t all have to be direct sequels to the movie that just hit theatres. While attending a set visit for POKÉMON DETECTIVE PIKACHU last year, IGN spoke to Legendary Entertainment producer Ali Mendes about the growth potential beyond POKÉMON DETECTIVE PIKACHU, and she opened up about their plans.
“[Pokémon is] such a rich universe. There are so many ways you can go inside of it,” Mendes said. “We're trying to get the first movie right, and then once we've done that, we'll see where we go from there, but absolutely. There are a lot of opportunities.
“Even the Pokémon themselves, there are 800 of them,” she continued. “We're going to have a lot of them in [this movie], but we want to play with all of them at some point.”
And dedicated fans likely will want to see that happen on screen. Early reviews have been praising the world-building in POKÉMON DETECTIVE PIKACHU, stating that the central location of Ryme City is one that you easily could get lost in for hours, interacting with the colorful and vibrant denizens. For this movie in particular, they are focusing on detective Pikachu (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) and his effort, with human friend Tim Goodman (Justice Smith), to solve a missing persons case.
But over the course of their adventure, they will encounter all sorts of Pokémon characters, from Psyduck to the villainous Mewtwo.
The Pokémon found new audiences when the mobile video game Pokémon GO caught fire. So, there’s a large audience of players who likely will flock to theatres to see how director Rob Letterman fleshes out this world. But it’s cool to know that if this first movie finds its fan base, there are plenty of exciting places that Legendary Entertainment could take it in the future as the map to a Pokémon Cinematic Universe.
POKÉMON DETECTIVE PIKACHU is in theatres now