I love Detective Pikachu. Both the 3DS adventure game and the live action movie it was adapted into. It was a gateway for me to get back into the Pokemon universe after I’d grown a bit tired of the RPG games’ format, and helped me see that world in a whole new light. And while the movie pretty succinctly wrapped itself up by the end (something the game can’t claim), a sequel was announced to be in the works before the original even debuted in theaters in 2019. But according to lead actor Justice Smith, who played Tim Goodman alongside Ryan Reynolds voicing the titular mouse detective, the follow-up might not be happening at all.
In an interview with Inverse, Smith was asked about the prospect of a Detective Pikachu 2 and if he would still be down to reprise his role as Tim. His response makes it sound like the sequel isn’t guaranteed, and may not even be in the works at all.
I would love to participate in Detective Pikachu 2. I don’t know if it’s going to happen. I think we have to just kind of bury our hopes. I don’t think it’s going to happen. I really hope so though. Honestly, I’m such a huge fan, who knows, who knows? I hope so.
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Spoilers for Detective Pikachu follow:
Admittedly, I don’t know how you can replicate what made the first movie pretty dang good in a sequel. The core of Detective Pikachu was Reynold’s performance as the Pokemon sleuth, which was only made possible in the movie because Tim’s father had been kind of “fused” with his partner Pikachu, which was undone at the end of the first movie. How could you recreate that without having to put them back together, and what narrative purpose would that serve? There’s basis there for a father and son detective movie with their Pikachu by their side, but is that as eye-catching as having a talking Pikachu solving mysteries? Maybe not. Maybe the story is fine as a standalone film. Even though I’d love to see it.
Because man, I want to see that depiction of the Pokemon universe again. The movie’s setting, Rime City, is a fascinating look at how that world can work when it’s not all catering to the industry of competitive monster battling. And generally, those are the Pokemon stories I’m gravitating toward these days. New Pokemon Snap, despite being a sequel to a 22-year-old game, feels like a fresh look at the franchise because it’s so detached from the cultural touchstone of Pokemon battles. That’s why I’m excited for Pokemon Legends: Arceus, because that game takes place before any of that stuff has been established.
At the very least, I’ll get to see the game version of Detective Pikachu again, as Nintendo has announced a sequel for the 3DS game is in development for the Switch.