Detective Pikachu Director Shares 1 Regret from Pokémon Movie (Exclusive)

By Russ Milheim Posted:
Detective Pikachu, Pokémon

The director of the first Detective Pikachu movie admitted one regret he had while making the film.

With how big the Pokémon franchise is, it’s odd to think about how few live-action films audiences have to live in its unique world—one to be exact. Detective Pikachu was exciting because it allowed audiences to see a universe where people co-exist with the colorful companions who were a part of so many childhoods.

As of 2019 when the movie was released, there were roughly 900 Pokémon the filmmakers could have chosen to include in the project.

While many might consider that a positive thing for creatives working on the story, it turns out the extreme amount of possibilities wasn’t an easy conundrum to deal with.

One Small Regret for Detective Pikachu

Pokémon: Detecive Pikachu logo, Pokémon, Bulbasaur, Jigglypuff, Charizard, Aipom, Snubbull
Legendary Pictures

In an exclusive interview with The Direct’s Russ Milheim, Goosebumps executive producer and Detective Pikachu director Rob Letterman shared a regret he holds about his time on the live-action Pokémon movie.

When asked if there’s still a Pokémon he wishes to this day made it into the film, Letterman admitted how he thinks he “remember[s] wishing [they] had less” Pokémon to choose from:

“You know, I just remember, it was a while ago; we had so many Pokémon characters in that thing. I think I remember wishing we had less, not wishing there was one more. There were so many, it was so complex.”

Kathryn Newton in Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, Audino, Charmander, Treecko, Pancham, Sneasel
Legendary Pictures

Earlier this year, it was reported by Deadline that Detective Pikachu 2 got a new writer and director attached. It was stated that Jonathan Krisel was in talks to direct the project while Chris Galleta was onboard as writer.

But was Letterman ever involved?

The producer revealed that he “was attached to the sequel… for a minute,” but then “the pandemic hit:”

“Yeah, I was attached to the sequel of it for a minute immediately after the movie came out, and then I just have no involvement now the pandemic hit and kind of moved on. So I really don't know anything about it. And I haven't seen the second sequel to the video game either. So I don't even know where that's going. But I did love it. I did love that movie. And I love spending time in Tokyo. It was such an amazing experience. And you know, and you know, my kids have also aged out so getting free Pokémon stuff isn't as big of a deal. Maybe it is. I don't know.”

What Could a Future Pokemon Project Look Like?

It's completely understandable that having the option to use any of 900 different Pokémon while simultaneously always being pressured to use as many as you can could be a lot to handle while also trying to create an effective and emotionally investing film.

Add on the fact that nearly every possible Pokémon means something to someone, and it becomes clear how it would be impossible to satisfy everyone.

But what exactly will a Detective Pikachu 2 look like? After all, at the end of the film, the titular Pokémon was turned back into his human, Ryan Reynolds-esque form.

It might be better if the film were to craft an original narrative set within the franchise's fun world, seeing as it’s the true star of the show. After all, how is it that fans still don’t have a live-action project following a Pokémon trainer trying to be the very best, like no one ever was?

Detective Pikachu is now streaming on Freevee, while Rob Letterman’s most recent series, Goosebumps, hits Disney+ on Friday, October 13.

- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.