‘Pokémon: Detective Pikachu’ Sequel Back on with ‘Portlandia’ Co-Creator

Jonathan Krisel, I choose you! A sequel to 2019’s live-action film “Pokémon: Detective Pikachu” is in the works at Legendary Entertainment, and the studio is in talks with the “Portlandia” co-creator Krisel to direct, IndieWire has confirmed.

Chris Galletta (“The Kings of Summer”) wrote the script based on the original film directed by Rob Letterman. However, a source tells IndieWire that no other talent deals have closed yet, including for Ryan Reynolds, who voiced the beloved yellow, electric mouse Pokemon in the original film. “Detective Pikachu” also starred Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, Bill Nighy, Ken Watanabe, Suki Waterhouse, and Rita Ora. Though Deadline, which first reported the news, says Reynolds is still expected to play a part in the sequel.

Though the original film, which was released by Warner Bros., grossed $449 million worldwide, development on a sequel had stalled, with the film’s star Smith at one point even suspecting a follow-up would never happen.

Plot details are still under wraps for the sequel.

“Pokémon: Detective Pikachu” was the first live-action Pokémon movie, and it followed a young man (Smith) who discovered a unique and intelligent Pikachu (Reynolds) that could talk. Together the two team up to track down the disappearance of a detective who also happens to be the boy’s father. The film was loosely inspired by a specific 2016 Pokémon game that was released for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan and became a cult hit.

Jonathan Krisel (right) with “Portlandia” stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein

Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images

While Krisel is known for his writing and directing credits on “Portlandia” and FX’s “Baskets,” he’s still new to features, having directed the short “John Bronco Rides Again.” Krisel is also attached as a director to the upcoming “Sesame Street” movie with Anne Hathaway.

And “Detective Pikachu” may not be the only live-action Pokémon project in the works, as it was reported back in 2021 that Netflix was in development on a live-action series.

Pokémon over the last 25 years has sold more than 440 million video games sold worldwide, tens of billions of Pokémon TCG cards shipped, and an animated series licensed to broadcast in 177 countries spanning 25 seasons. The series after 25 years on air also had a landmark of sorts when its lead character, Ash Ketchum, finally became the very best like no one ever was, winning the Pokémon League championship and ending the character’s run on the show.

Krisel is represented by UTA, Mosaic and Yorn, Levine, Barnes, Krintzman, Rubenstein, Kohner, Endlich & Gellman. Galletta is represented by UTA and Anonymous Content.

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