Detective Pikachu filming has begun as props appear across London

Images for the upcoming Detective Pikachu movie have begun to appear online as film props are spotted across London and even actors in CG suits roam the streets as wild Pokémon.

Detective Pikachu filming has begun as props appear across London

All the photos captured by members of the public show that production has begun on the new film, but that things are still certainly in their early stages. However, there are a few things we can glean about these images.

Firstly, Detective Pikachu appears to be taking place in Ryme City, the same location the Japanese-only Nintendo 3DS game of the same name is set. Many of the film props also hint to Ryme City being a place where Pokémon and humans live in harmony, rather than where they’re hunted down and made to fight one another.

It also looks like Ryme City PD, where PD stands for Police Department and not Pikachu Detectives, is a forward-thinking police force that utilises all-electric BMW i3‘s in its pursuit of crime.

Personally, I’d have thought the BMW i8 would have been a better bet for catching criminals, but what do I know.

Ryan Reynolds, who is said to be both voicing and playing Pikachu, hasn’t been spotted, but men in skin-tight blue suits have been. Seeing as they’re holding Pokémon-shaped figures, it’s likely they’re stand-ins for Pokémon to be added during post-production.

Ryan Reynolds will play Pikachu

It’s often said that Hamlet is every actor’s dream role, but the thespians who parrot this particular trope rarely consider another complex, enigmatic figure. Who could possibly turn down the role of Detective Pikachu? The answer to that question might well include plenty of actors, but one man hasn’t shied away from the challenge: Deadpool’s Ryan Reynolds.

And no, this isn’t just Reynolds reading the lines “pika pika” in a variety of tones, like Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy. For starters, Detective Pikachu can talk (how could he be a detective otherwise? Come on guys, keep up). For seconds, this isn’t an animated feature, but a live action affair – so Reynolds will be motion captured for the role according to Hollywood Reporter.

So we’re looking at something not too far removed from Andy Serkis as Gollum in Lord of the Rings, apparently, which means Reynolds won’t have to binge drink Haagen Dazs smoothies to achieve Pikachu’s classic rotund form (this may sound implausible, but it’s what Ryan Gosling claimed he did for a role that never was in The Lovely Bones.) All the same, it’s hard to imagine a giant yellow blob with a deerstalker hat blending in too conspicuously with the London sets – so stake outs are likely not on the cards.

 Reynolds will star alongside Justice Smith (whose father is kidnapped, providing the dumpy detective’s first case) and Kathryn Newton (a journalist who has no issue with tagging along for the ride). Filming will begin in London early next year.

Detective Pikachu isn’t just a film, though. It’s actually based on a Japan-only 3DS game where Pikachu solves mysteries of the strictly PG-kind. No arson, fraud, assault or murder for Detective Pikachu. This isn’t LA Noire.

If you’re concerned about the non-canon nature of a talking Pikachu (and I would gently suggest there are more serious things to worry about at the moment), it’s worth pointing out that this isn’t the first time Pikachu has spoken. In the recent Pokemon movie, he delivers a line at the very end of the movie which clearly left one cinema audience a bit nonplused:

Presumably, Pikachu’s diction will be considerably better with Reynolds delivering the lines, but we’ll know for sure when the film hits screens.

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