I don’t even need to talk about “Avengers: Endgame.” If you haven’t seen it yet, the person sitting next to you has. Since last week, anytime someone says, “I’m going to the theater,” you know exactly what they’re going to see.
Marvel’s domination of the theater is exciting but doesn’t feel like a big change. Whether or not “Avengers: Endgame” is everything fans hope for, it won’t change the direction Marvel is going.
According to Time Magazine, Marvel still has “Dark Pheonix,” “Spiderman: Far from Home” and “The New Mutants” planned to come out this summer. That’s a lot of competition for movies like “Pokemon Detective Pikachu,” coming out May 10.
At first, I didn’t know what to think about this movie. As a Pokemon fan, it was odd to see such familiar little creatures rendered in 3D animation. Some of them, like Squirtle, look adorable. Others… look like Lickytung. Don’t even get me started on the voice of Detective Pikachu, Ryan Renolds.
Though it was weird, I’m still intrigued. This is different from anything Pokemon has done. Don’t get me wrong, they’ve done a lot of movies. But they’ve always been animated in Japan and star the show’s main cast.
“Pokemon Detective Pikachu,” by contrast, is a live-action movie made by Legendary Entertainment in California. These are the people responsible for “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Pacific Rim” and “Jurassic World.” Not what you would expect for Pokemon, a franchise primarily directed toward children.
This new movie may be a way to reach older audiences and gain new followers. In a financial briefing in 2016, the president of Nintendo, Tatsumi Kimishima, acknowledged Pokemon’s “increase in the ratio of players in their 20s and 30s and… acquisition and reactivation of new consumers,” which trend has continued with the growth of the mobile game, Pokemon Go.
Pokemon has a visibly strong fan base at BYU-Idaho. Anytime you walk around campus, you might spot others playing Pokemon Go alone or with their friends. I saw dozens of people playing in the blustery snow of last semester, and there will be even more now that the weather is nice. This is exactly the audience that “Pokemon Detective Pikachu” is targeting.
The Pokemon company has a lot to gain if the movie goes well. But it might not. Nintendo’s last live-action movie on a franchise was “Super Mario Bros.” in 1993, which is now only known for how bad it was.
So, I wasn’t excited about the idea. Not until the “What a Pikachu World” trailer that Ryan Renolds dropped on YouTube.
A world full of Pokemon is what fans want to see, and that’s certainly what it looks like. But why live-action? Why make it in America? Who thinks of this?
“The Pokemon Company, they’ve already made many, many movies of Ash, and they came to Legendary with this idea of using a new character,” Rob Letterman said in an IGN interview. “So when I came on board, I was pitched this character of Detective Pikachu, and I fell in love with the story behind it.”
I never ever saw a live-action Pokemon movie like this coming, and I really hope it’s good. We can already know “Avengers: Endgame” is going to be good. Marvel’s got its strategy down by now, and it has been hyping “Avengers: Endgame” for about ten years.
But Detective Pikachu could hit a home run or crash and burn horribly. I’m excited to see how it does.