'Detective Pikachu' Producer Says Film Will Shy Away From Anime Series, Games

Detective Pikachu has all the makings of a box office blockbuster. The ambitious adaptation will be the first to bring Pokemon to Hollywood, but fans should not expect the film to be heavily invested in the franchise’s games and anime.

No, according to one producer, Detective Pikachu is looking to do its own thing... even if that means ignoring some franchise staples.

Recently, Gamespot hit up fans with its set visit coverage of Detective Pikachu. It was there Nigel Phelps, the production design on the film, owned up to the ways it shies away from franchise predecessors.

"We've kind of shied away from [using landmarks and architecture from the games]. There are little clues with the street names, and stuff like that, there’s references to the Pokemon universe, without being specific to it,” Phelps said.

Continuing, the producer added Detective Pikachu will treat its anime roots similarly.

“We’ve shied away from the animation [because] the cartoons and stuff felt much too cartoon-y and unreal, and it was important to everyone making the film that this was a realistic universe."

This admission might not sit well with fans, but Detective Pikachu has never been an in-line Pokemon project. When its story debuted in Japan back in February 2016, many fans considered it to be an outlier. It’s narrative focus drew attention from the start, and The Pokemon Company believes this take makes it perfect for Warner Bros. Pictures to adapt. So, who knows? Maybe a live-action anime take will head to Hollywood once Detective Pikachu proves it is super effective at the box office.

So, what are you hoping to get from this live-action adaptation? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!

Directed by Rob Letterman, and co-written by Nicole Perlman, Pokemon: Detective Pikachu is scheduled for a release on May 10. The official synopsis for Pokemon: Detective Pikachu reads as such:


"The story begins when ace detective Harry Goodman goes mysteriously missing, prompting his 21-year-old son Tim to find out what happened. Aiding in the investigation is Harry’s former Pokémon partner, Detective Pikachu: a hilariously wise-cracking, adorable super-sleuth who is a puzzlement even to himself. Finding that they are uniquely equipped to communicate with one another, Tim and Pikachu join forces on a thrilling adventure to unravel the tangled mystery.

Chasing clues together through the neon-lit streets of Ryme City—a sprawling, modern metropolis where humans and Pokémon live side by side in a hyper-realistic live-action world—they encounter a diverse cast of Pokémon characters and uncover a shocking plot that could destroy this peaceful co-existence and threaten the whole Pokémon universe."