It's no secret the Internet loves Pokemon fan art, with photorealistic renditions gaining significant traction. A simple Google search yields several results, drawn from hundreds of professional portfolios and twice as many fan accounts. Fans have begged to see an equivalent on the big screen, and with next year's Detective Pikachu, they may finally get their wish.
Director Rob Letterman revealed over the weekend at the 2018 Pokemon World Championship in Nashville, Tennessee, that all of the film's Pokemon will be rendered photorealistically, and made to look like living creatures. "They're incredibly real," he explained. "You should think of it as the way [Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy character] Rocket Raccoon sits in the movie as if he's really there. It's that technology. They're technically some of the most high-end visual effects in the world."
The same visual effects team that worked on 2016's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Disney's live-action The Jungle Book will reportedly work on Detective Pikachu.
Letterman was joined at the Pokemon World Championships by actors Justice Smith and Kathryn Newton, who will play the film's trainer-protagonists. They defended the absence of Ash Ketchum in the franchise's first live-action outing, and gushed about the involvement of Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds.
Detective Pikachu is based on the adventure game of the same name, released in 2016 in Japan as a mini title, followed globally in March by a full version. The game revolves around a talking, sentient Pikachu masquerading as a police detective. Together with Pokemon trainer Tim Goodman (played in the film by Smith), Detective Pikachu sets out to solve the disappearance of Tim's father, as well as a string of other mysteries.
Directed by Shark Tale's Rob Letterman, Detective Pikachu stars Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton and Ken Watanabe, with Ryan Reynolds as the voice of Detective Pikachu. It hits theaters on May 10, 2019.