Forget Detective Pikachu 2, We Need A Pokemon Series

Forget Detective Pikachu 2, We Need A Pokemon Series
Warner Bros. | Sony

Written by 

Tom Chapman


28th Jan 2022 16:37

These days, we can barely move for video game adaptations. Everything from The Last of Us to Uncharted, Halo to Ghost of Tsushima are leaving console and PC for a new medium. While we were once confined to abysmal outings like the Dwayne Johnson-led Doom and 2003's House of the Dead (which has 3% on Rotten Tomatoes), we've thankfully come a long way.

As 2018's Tomb Raider and the recent Resident Evil: Welcome to Racoon City show, it's still not a perfect formula. Away from the pressures of box office performance, there's a new breed of pixilated upstarts that are trying to conquer the small screen instead. There are some major IPs flying around right now, but where's Pokemon in all of this?

Alongside the aforementioned The Last of UsAmazon's Fallout, the live-action System Shock, continued rumours of a Mass Effect series should have you excited. Following in their footsteps, here's why Detective Pikachu should also pack its bags for a streaming service near you.

Where Is Detective Pikachu 2?

Detective Pikachu Pokemon
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Warner Bros,

In 2019, Detective Pikachu shocked its way to the top of the box office as the adorable mouse mascot bridged the gap between anime and live-action. Although Ryan Reynolds voicing the titular Pikachu might've seemed like an odd choice, the Hollywood megastar's signature vocals only added to Detective Pikachu's charms. 

Even though Detective Pikachu neatly set up a sequel, the years are ticking on, and it's never come to pass. Recently, actor Justice Smith (Tim Goodman) poured water on our hopes of Detective Pikachu 2. Saying that we should "bury" the notion of Detective Pikachu putting on his adorable hat isn't exactly good news.

We're not sure why Detective Pikachu 2 isn't already out - especially because there was plenty of buzz about a sequel in the immediate aftermath of the first movie's release. Detective Pikachu made an impressive $433 million at the box office, meaning it's the second-highest-grossing video game movie of all time. Only 2016's Warcraft has made more, and with Sonic the Hedgehog sitting in fifth place but Sonic 2 coming this year, it's a baffling turn of events. 

Why Now Is The Perfect Time For A Pokemon Series?

Detective Pikachu Lickatung
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Warner Bros.

We've already covered how we're in something of a Pokemon renaissance, and aside from hopes the Pokemon Trading Card Game gets some much-needed love and attention, the runaway success of Pokmeon Legends: Arceus shows the franchise still has plenty of steam. 

There's supposedly a live-action Pokemon series coming to Netflix, but with it only in the early stages of development, we have no idea what it will involve. If we aren't getting a full-blown Detective Pikachu sequel, a series would be a great way to continue the story. From what little we saw of Ryme City, it was a colourful and vibrant backdrop packed with a tonne of Pokemon. A sensible route would've been for Warner Bros. to sell the Detective Pikachu rights to the streaming giant, but we doubt this is the case. 

Whatever form Pokemon continues in on our screen, talent is likely to be key. We know having Reynolds as Detective Pikachu was a divisive choice, but it undoubtedly brought some people to the movie. Thankfully, Hollywood megastars like Henry Cavill and Pedro Pascal have been lured into live-action video game adaptations, and a Pokemon series would likely do the same. 

What A Pokemon Series Needs To Do Differently?

Detective Pikachu Aipom
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Warner Bros

Given that Pokemon has its roots in Japanese anime, there were also those that accused the studio of cultural erasure. It's something we've seen time and again with Doctor Strange and Ghost in the Shell. There were more than a few raised eyebrows that the only Asian star was Ken Watanabe's Detective Hideo Yoshida. Ryme City might've had a colourful cast of characters, but with just 54 'Mon being featured, it was a far cry from the 900 that exist. If Detective Pikachu continues, the team needs to lean more on the fan-favourite anime. 

Others have criticised Warner Bros. for picking the out-there choice of a spin-off franchise instead of going for a straight-up adaptation. We don't have to focus on a live-action Ash Ketchum, but it seems odd we went for a talking Pikachu and his floppy hat. Still, another Detective Pikachu would have to keep that electric mouse front and centre - which we don't necessarily think it'd be a bad thing. 

Even if a series sequel doesn't follow Detective Pikachu and Tim, we're sure there are plenty of other movers and shakers out there. We already have a perfect villain in the form of Team Rocket. Although the big bads of the anime sat out Detective Pikachu, there was a Team Rocket Easter egg thanks to Jessie and James voice actors Megumi Hayashibara and Shin-ichiro Miki landing different parts. Come on, give us a live-action Giovanni and his imposing Persian. 

Delivering a Detective Pikachu series would allow us to explore Ryme City and many of the Pocket Monsters that were resigned to being background characters or background Easter Exeggutors. Even if Detective Pikachu won't get a new lease of life on the silver screen, any form of Netflix series would be foolish not to tie into the events of the movie. It was far from a perfect Poke picture, but it was a solid start. Let's see if someone has the Machops to make this one happen, or is the Detective Pikachu name is doomed to go the way of Cubone's mother?


Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.

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