One of the most prevalent questions being asked about Legendary’s upcoming live-action Pokémon film Detective Pikachu [aside from the obvious "why?”] has to do with the decision to exclude human trainer Ash Ketchum. Rob Letterman, director of Detective Pikachu, explained a bit about why Ash isn’t making an appearance.
In a recent interview with IGN during the 2018 Pokémon World Championships, Letterman said:
“The Pokémon Company, they’ve already made many, many movies of Ash, and they came to Legendary with this idea of using a new character. So when I came on board, I was pitched this character of Detective Pikachu, and I fell in love with the story behind it.
It’s a really great story. It was something with a lot of heart, and it was just very unique.
And because there’s already been so much work done with Ash, for the first live-action movie I thought it was a really good idea to try something new with a new character but bake it into the universe of Pokémon. So it still follows all the rules, and we get to see a lot of our favorite things.”
Which, you know, makes sense.
The lead human character is the film will be Tim Goodman, played by Justice Smith, who teams up with the sleuthing Pokémon to find Goodman’s missing father. Pikachu will be voiced by Ryan Reynolds, and Letterman also spoke a bit about the pair interacting:
“There was something delightful about that big personality and voice that he has in this small package. There’s something really fun about that idea. It sounds like a mismatch, but it’s really organic. It’s really hilarious, they’re hilarious together.”
Smith said of working with Reynolds:
“He’s hilarious, and he just brought so much to the character. He brought Pikachu to life.”
Detective Pikachu is set to hit theaters on May 10th, 2019.