Anyone familiar with Ryan Reynolds' lengthy acting career knows he's no stranger to roles of the unconventional variety. But a fuzzy, doe-eyed mini-creature with an eye for investigation and big-time superpowers to back it up? That's a new one. Nonetheless, Ryan Reynolds will star in the new Pokémon movie, and the first Detective Pikachu trailer gives fans a first look at Reynolds as a fluffy, yellow creature. That's right, Reynolds will star as the one and only Detective Pikachu, a sweet, snappy, live-action adaptation of the animated Pokémon favorite, who also happens to be the upcoming film's titular character.
"I think we all knew I'd wind up as a miniature detective repeatedly saying the same two words. Just didn't think it would be this soon," wrote Reynolds, captioning Monday, Nov. 12's IG post announcing the release of the trailer. The post's accompanying video seems to be a snippet from Detective Pikachu's first official trailer, which Warner Bros. unveiled via YouTube a bit earlier on Monday. But, fittingly, the portion of it that popped up on Reynolds' IG account felt primarily like an introduction to his upcoming Pokémon character, in particular.
"Someone there?" asks Tim, played by Justice Smith at the IG clip's start. (Coincidentally, Smith shared the big screen with Reynolds for the first time earlier this year, in the summer's Jurassic World installment.) After rustling through Tim's office supplies for another few seconds, Reynolds' Pikachu reveals himself, in all his pint-sized glory.
"I know you can't understand me," the creature laments, conceivably referencing whatever language barrier usually exists between himself and most humans. But, after sternly (read: adorably) ordering Tim to "put down the stapler" he'd grabbed to defend himself or face the wrath of Pikachu's electric tail, the teeny tiny detective discovers that this particular human isn't quite like all the others.
"Did you just talk?" asks Tim, who — as audiences will find out later, is actually a Pokémon enthusiast himself — though he's already left his trainer aspirations behind. (Anyone else flashing back to that scene from Paper Towns when Smith and his co-stars performed an a cappella rendition of the Pokémon theme song?) After making their initial acquaintance, Tim informs Reynolds' Pikachu that he "doesn't need a Pokémon, period." Ouch!
But Pikachu counters with what appears to be a slightly more attractive offer. "What about a world-class detective?" he asks Tim. And, since Tim's father (who's also a detective himself) has apparently gone missing, he begrudgingly obliges. According to Warner Bros. official description for the film, included below Monday's trailer, it sounds like Tim and Detective Pikachu become quite the mystery-solving pair throughout the course of the movie. And — to none's surprise, probably — it also sounds like they come face to face with some sort of larger conflict than the one they originally planned for:
"Chasing clues together through the neon-lit streets of Ryme City ... they encounter a diverse cast of Pokémon characters and uncover a shocking plot that could destroy this peaceful co-existence and threaten the whole Pokémon universe."
Threatening? Sure. Invigorating? Definitely, especially for fans of the long-beloved Pokémon franchise and all its various iterations. Need another reason to get hyped about Detective Pikachu? Per the new trailer's description, Ryme City (where the movie will take place) is "a sprawling, modern metropolis where humans and Pokémon live side by side in a hyper-realistic live-action world." So, that should be interesting.
However their crime-solving plights pan out, the promise of Reynolds' Pikachu and Smith's Tim starring in the first ever live-action Pokémon movie feels like a major win for pop culture all by itself. Who's already marked their calendars for next May?