Over the weekend, Detective Pikachu made over $166 million and should make a profit this weekend coming and hopefully a worldwide total of $400-$600 million once their theatrical release has finished.
This will be half of the billion dollars I originally thought when the first trailers came out, but still a decent number to launch a possible franchise/ cinematic universe.
Pokémon is the biggest IP in the world and with Detective Pikachu, a franchise can be built around it. While I’m sure plenty of fans will want to see Ash, Misty and Brock (Ray Fisher should be cast in the role), but the logical next step is actually having a Team Rocket movie.
It makes sense as in the original animated series, Team Rockets goal was to steal Pikachu obsessed by his power and in Detective Pikachu is no different as they could witness seeing Harry’s Pikachu defeat Mewtwo.
The plot is pretty simple, the foursome of Jessie and her Wobbuffet, James and Meowth steal Harry’s Pikachu and return him for their boss, Giovanni. Meanwhile, father and son Harry and Tim along with Lucy and her Psyduck (because this film and every Pokémon film needs Psyduck) go to get him back.
While Team Rocket should be treated as a shadowy organisation and the reveal of Giovanni (if there even needs to be one) should be the last moments of the film.
The film itself should be a family comedy and I film randomly comes to mind is 1994’s Baby’s Day Out, not a good movie by any imagine but one that you could take some inspiration from.
Then I’d add a mid-credit scene with Harry and his Pikachu with Tim, Lucy and Psyduck are in a little café in Kanto, where they meet Ash Ketchum and his Pikachu.
Casting wise, many of the original cast like Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith and Kathryn Newton all return.
Elsewhere, the casting of Jessie and James is important and be played by Asian actors and I can’t see Warner Bros being worried because they’ve had massive success with Crazy Rich Asians and I could see fans being disappointed if white actors got the roles.
For James, Riverdale’s Charles Melton would be the man that comes to mind as he has the future film star look. The 28-year-old has a good relationship with the studio on the TV side and on the big screen as The Sun Is Also A Star is to be released in the US this week and in the UK on August 9.
The only thing is I would dye his hair blue because in live action it’d look really awful.
Meanwhile, for the longest time, Karen Fukuhara has been in my mind to be involved in any form of a live-action Pokémon film as I think she’d be a decent Misty but also Jessie and would easily rock the pink hair.
Fukuhara will be best known for her role as Katana in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad and a character I hope returns in a future Birds of Prey or DCU film. The 27-year-old is also the voice of Glimmer in the rebooted animated series She-Ra and the Princesses of Power for Netflix and we’ll see her kick bloody superhero arse as Female in The Boys on Amazon.
Similar to how Ryan Reynolds and his gorgeous voice was the driving force behind Detective Pikachu, a comedic voice is needed for Meowth and a big name for that matter.
The first two that come to mind is Awkwafina and Kevin Hart, both of whom will be starring opposite each other in the upcoming Jumanji reboot sequel. Another name would be their co-star and legend, Danny DeVito.
Moreover, Andy Samberg and Mindy Kaling should have their names thrown into the hat as too John Mulaney.
Honestly, I’d give it to Mulaney because he’s one of the best stand-ups in the world currently and his Netflix specials are unbelievably funny. He nailed voicing a talking pig with powers of a spider in Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, so why wouldn’t he smashing a talking cat out of the park.
I understand the three names of Melton, Fukuhara and Mulaney wouldn’t get bums in seats alone, but maybe because Team Rocket is such a well-known team it can get audiences interested and seeing Reynolds now in human form on his first adventure will help.
As for Giovanni and Ash, you don’t have to put a face to the characters and keep it open until you cast for a film centred on Ash becoming a champion Pokémon trainer instead have the famous hat and his Pikachu meeting Harry’s Pikachu. As for Giovanni, he can be a body in the shadows.