'Detective Pikachu' Producer Raises Hopes for a Pokemon Cinematic Universe

A Detective Pikachu producer confirms that Legendary Pictures is hoping to build a "Pokemon Cinematic Universe" stemming from the success of the first ever live-action Pokemon movie. "[The Pokemon Universe] such a rich universe, Legendary Entertainment producer Ali Mendes told IGN during a set visit for the movie. "There are so many ways you can go inside of it. 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."

Hopes are high for Detective Pikachu, which stars Ryan Reynolds as the voice of the title character and Justice Smith as his human partner Tim. Not only are multiple spinoff movies and sequels allegedly in developments, some (like our own Brandon Davis) believe that a Pokemon Cinematic Universe could rival the Marvel Cinematic Universe in terms of popularity and pop culture relevance.

The Pokemon franchise is one of the biggest in the world, with dozens of successful games, a long-running anime series, and a card game that sells millions of cards each year. And by focusing on Detective Pikachu instead of an adaptation of the anime series, it gives Legendary Entertainment a somewhat fresh palette from which to build their own Pokemon world without worrying too much about fan success.

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It also helps that, with over 800 Pokemon, Legendary Pictures has a lot of room to explore and expand without seeming to stale. "“Even the Pokemon themselves, there are eight hundred of them. We're going to have a lot of them in [Pokemon: Detective Pikachu], but we want to play with all of them at some point,” Mendes told IGN.

Detective Pikachu hits theatres on May 10th. Let us know if you're excited about the prospect of a Pokemon movie franchise in the comment section or find me on Twitter at @CHofferCbus to talk all things Pokemon!