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Pokémon: Detective Pikachu 2 happening, with a new team on the case

A director and writer have boarded the mysterious sequel

Pikachu looking up, mouth agape in Pokemon: Detective Pikachu Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures
Matt Patches is an executive editor at Polygon. He has over 15 years of experience reporting on movies and TV, and reviewing pop culture.

2019’s Pokémon: Detective Pikachu was a big enough global hit for Warner Bros. Pictures, Legendary Entertainment, and The Pokémon Company to warrant a sequel, and yet fans of the pocket monsters entered 2023 with little to no update on what might be next for the budding live-action franchise. But now we finally have a clue: Deadline reports that Legendary is in negotiations with a new creative team to take on the theoretical Pokémon: Detective Pikachu 2.

According to the report, Jonathan Krisel, co-creator of the IFC sketch comedy series Portlandia and the FX series Baskets, is likely to take over for original director Rob Letterman, while Chris Galletta (The Kings of Summer) is now on script duties. It’s unclear whether Ryan Reynolds would return to voice Pikachu — the ending of Detective Pikachu certainly raises questions of how exactly that would be possible — but Deadline suggests the Deadpool actor would have a role to play based on the direction of the film.

Earlier this year, in our hunt for answers as to the status of the dormant sequel, Legendary told Polygon that the movie was still in active development — just as it was in 2019. Even before Detective Pikachu premiered, Legendary hired writer Oren Uziel, who had scripted 22 Jump Street and a draft of Sonic the Hedgehog, to work on a sequel to the movie. Representatives for Uziel told Polygon that though he wrote an outline and screenplay for the movie, he was no longer involved with the film. Krisel and Galletta could be working off Uziel’s draft or starting fresh, but as of now, there’s no sense of timeline for the actual film, which at this point does not have a release date.

Mucking up the works is an imploded relationship between Legendary Entertainment and Warner Bros.; since the release of Detective Pikachu, Legendary has moved on from the movie studio as its core distributor, striking a new deal with Sony Pictures. Detective Pikachu is expected to remain at WB. Meanwhile, Netflix remains a player in the Pokémon content game, with a brand new stop-motion Pokémon anime set for 2023 and a live-action series reportedly in development.

The big question: Which will come first, the new Detective Pikachu movie or the game sequel that Nintendo announced in 2019 that also hasn’t come to fruition?

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