Shooting on film is becoming increasingly rare, with more movie makers opting to shoot digitally. Shooting with a digital image sensor is not only cheaper, but it's more efficient. That said, there are still plenty of movies that are being shot on film, and Detective Pikachu is one of them. According to Justice Smith -- who plays Tim Goodman (the protagonist) in the film -- director Rob Letterman opted to go with film for a specific reason. Further, he's also tried to shoot on location and avoid the green screen as much as possible.
"There wasn't a lot of green screen," said Smith while talking to Vulture. "Our director, Rob Letterman — I'm getting better at saying last names, Rob Letterman — wanted to shoot on location as much as possible. We shot in London, and for like a week in Scotland which is like a desktop background. He had this vision to put the Pokémon up against this urban backdrop and use this gray, grainy filter. We shot on film so it gave it that natural grain."
"...Because the Pokémon are so fantastical, to put them up against this realistic backdrop makes them pop more. That kind of drew me into wanting to do the film, because you can so easily go into this zany realm. I loved Rob Letterman — I don't know why I'm saying his last name still — because he was all about the actor and our performance and keeping it loose on set and improvising and responding naturally."
Going off the reception the film and its visuals have received so far from Pokemon fans, I'd say the decision to shoot on film and use as little green screen as possible was the right call by Letterman.
Detective Pikachu is poised to premier in a couple of months on May 10. For more news, media, and information on the highly-anticipated Pokemon adventure, be sure to peep all of our previous coverage of the movie by clicking right here. And as always, feel free to leave a comment letting us know what you think or hit me up on Twitter @Tyler_Fischer_ and sound off there.