The Knockturnal was on the scene at the world premiere of the new film Detective Pikachu, speaking as well with the writers of the movie and one of the actors in the film
For one night in the middle of Times Square, the city was taken over by Pokémon. Pikachu himself wearing his finest hat walked the carpet for the premiere of his new film Detective Pikachu, attended as well by the rest of the cast and crew of the new film.
Ryan Reynolds and his wife Blake Lively were in attendance, with Lively revealing that she is pregnant with the couple’s third child. Also present were the other stars of the film, including Justice Smith and Kathryn Newton, each dressed to the 10s. Celebrities of all kinds came out for the night, including Ronan Farrow, Patrick Wilson, Cynthia Nixon and more, all excited to see Detective Pikachu in action.
Detective Pikachu is the story of a young man named Tim Goodman (Smith) who learns that his police officer father died in the line of duty. He goes to Ryme City and teams up with his father’s former partner, Pikachu (voiced by Reynolds) and young reporter Lucy Stevens (Newton) to investigate a conspiracy that may go all the way to the top, with the father-and-son owners of the news corporation in Ryme City (Bill Nighy and Chris Geere) being possibly involved. It’s a fun and goofy movie that families will all love.
At the Detective Pikachu premiere, The Knockturnal spoke to the two writers of the film, as well as with Chris Geere, who plays Roger Clifford.
The Knockturnal: How did you settle on Detective Pikachu instead of Mystery Dungeon or Ash Ketchum or any of the other many Pokémon stories that have been told?
Benji Samit: I think what was really exciting about Detective Pikachu was that we were looking for a reason for a live-action Pokémon movie to exist, and we thought that this way in, of this talking Pikachu living in this world where it’s a part of the universe — where Pokémons and humans live together in harmony, which we’ve never seen before in anything else — we thought that that was a great reason for a live action movie to exist. So that was sort of a jumping off point.
Dan Hernandez: [It’s] a little unexpected, a little bit diagonal to what people thought that they wanted, necessarily, from a Pokémon movie. I think that that’s a good thing because I think that once people saw what everyone had going on, they got very excited about the concept.
The Knockturnal: How did you settle on what Pikachu would sound like? Not just the voice of Ryan Reynolds, but the kind of tone that he’d be using. Like, what Pikachu sounds like instead of what other humans sound like.
Dan Hernandez: Well we were really inspired by noir movies. Classic detective movies like The Third Man and even neo-noir movies like Blade Runner, or hybrids like Roger Rabbit. Those all have those sort of wise-cracking detective who’s seen a lot of the world. And we thought the juxtaposition of that attitude with this cute little Detective Pikachu would make for a really funny pairing. And that’s the sort of development of that.
The Knockturnal: Who’s your favorite starter Pokémon?
Samit: I think my favorite starter is Bulbasaur. It’s always been, I mean I’m old enough that Gen-1 [Pokémon Red or pokémon Green] was my first entry to Pokémon. I just think he’s the cutest. I’d pick him any day.
Hernandez: Bulbasaur is probably my favorite, too. I think that’s one of the reasons that we— there’s a pivotal scene and I don’t want to spoil it, but you see Bulbasaur in the trailer and that was very much by design. Because that was a Pokémon that we felt very passionate about getting into the movie.
The Knockturnal: So can you tell me a little bit about your character in Detective Pikachu?
Chris Geere: Yes! I play a bit of an idiot, I play Roger Clifford. I am the son of Howard Clifford, played by Bill Nighy, and both of us are in charge of the news network that runs the whole of Ryme City. So we start off as fairly nice characters, and we… don’t end like that, let’s put it that way.
The Knockturnal: What’s your experience with Pokémon? Have you played the games?
Chris Geere: Yeah, I think that for everyone, they were a part of our life in some capacity. But I have a six-year-old son who’s obsessed, so I’m very much doing this for him.
The Knockturnal: Has he seen the movie yet?
Chris Geere: No, we’re all going next Friday. We’re going with about 25 of his buddies down to the cinema and we’re going to watch it then.
The Knockturnal: What’s it like finding your niche in America? Between stuff like this and You’re the Worst…
Chris Geere: I’ve been very lucky in the last year with You’re the Worst and Modern Family and now this all being such very different, exciting jobs. Long may it continue, hopefully!