Ryan Reynolds is still set to voice the popular Pokemon starring in “Detective Pikachu” (yes, this is a real movie). But it won’t be happening with Universal. Legendary Pictures is producing the film and is now going with Warner Bros as the distributor. This is big news for both Legendary and Warner Bros as the two companies broke off their partnership in 2013, only for it to be rekindled over the production of a Pokemon movie.
Why the move? Apparently, things haven’t been going smoothly between Universal and Legendary, leading to the eventual expiration of their contract at the end of 2018. Here’s what THR had to say:
The Universal-Legendary relationship had sputtered over the past year, culminating with Legendary’s Dwayne Johnson starrer Skyscraper, which sources say will ultimately be a money loser. Legendary also has put up large chunks of the budget for most of the films in Universal’s slate over the past four years, including summer hit Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, which has earned $1.2 billion to date. Legendary has a stake in BlacKkKlansman, a film from Universal’s Focus Features label. That would mark its final film with Universal.
Despite this shift in distributors, it appears the film is still going to meet its premiere date of May 10, 2019. But will the film even do well? While the first theatrical Pokemon movie from 1999 did incredibly well at the box office, its following sequels dwindled greatly until the rights were passed from Warner Bros to Miramax before ending on the fifth film with a limited release (despite continuous theatrical releases in Japan). One strong aspect that may ensure a stronger interest is a more notable cast that will include Suki Waterhouse, Justice Smith and Ken Watanabe, in addition to Reynolds. While the idea was greenlit during the height of Pokemon Go’s popularity as a big mobile app, the waning interest in the game affect the box office. I guess it’ll all depend on how much the public wants to see Ryan Reynolds voicing a crime-solving Pokemon.