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Pokémon’s next movie is Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution

Is it a sequel? A reboot?

Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution artwork The Pokémon Company

The next Pokémon movie in the long-running franchise looks familiar. It’s Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution, a feature that’s said to have some kind of tie to the first Pokémon movie. But whether this is a sequel, remake or something else entirely is a complete mystery.

The movie was first teased this summer with the Japanese release of Pokémon: Everyone’s Story — known in the U.S. as Pokémon: The Power of Us — but all we have to go off is some intense artwork of our boy Mewtwo. His leering eye stands out among bubbles that suggest he’s floating around his test tube. (Mewtwo is the rare manmade Pokémon.)

Japanese news site Natalie gives the faintest of clues as to what this means. The first Pokémon movie was called Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back, and it pit the psychic-type against Ash, Pikachu and a bunch of other Pokémon. (Pikachu, most memorably, slapped another Pikachu repeatedly in the face. Ash also died and was revived by the tears of Pokémon. It was a whole thing.)

Pokémon’s first movie was later followed by a direct sequel called Mewtwo Returns, which went direct to video here in the U.S. (It was very, very dull, in my opinion, but it emphasized that Mewtwo is both slick as hell and a very scary dude.) Based on the title of this new movie, however, it’s most likely that it’s connected to the OG Mewtwo Strikes Back.

The movie is set for a July 12, 2019, release in Japan, so we should hopefully know more about what it actually is before then.

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