Detective Pikachu Director Explores How The Film Transcends The Pokemon Universe

Let's get this out of the way: if you're a Pokemon fan, Detective Pikachu drops you into a world that you'll be quite familiar with. The story itself, while taking place within the established Pokemon universe, promises to also create a world that will be friendly to those not that familiar with the world of Pocket Monsters. In our talk with Director Rob Letterman, we discussed how the world of the film manages to transcend the universe that's already been set up through video games, television, and everything in between.

Letterman had this to say about the film following a Ryan Reynolds voiced Pikachu:

"The movie has a lot of heart, and there's a lot of emotion. It's a real human story. An identifiable, relatable story of connection and hope. The idea that Pokemon bring out the best in humanity. The journey in getting a second chance at a relationship that was broken. I think those kinds of themes transcend even the Pokemon universe. Hopefully, if you have no idea about Pokemon, that still allows you to enter this world."

pokemon detective pikachu card
(Photo: The Pokemon Company)

A Pokemon is something of a symbiotic entity, clasping onto its trainer/human companion tight, mimicking their traits and attributes. It's only natural that a story revolving around a Pokemon would involve the human that they are hanging around with. While Pikachu will of course be our main focus here, Tim Goodman, played by Justice Smith, will act as the human half of our electric rodent detective. Expect to also see some more nefarious Pokemon who follow the methods and plans of their less than stellar trainers, looking to either make a quick buck or put even more nefarious plans into action.

Detective Pikachu releases in theaters on May 9th in the United States from Warner Bros Pictures. 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.

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