“Hi. I’m Rob Letterman,
director of “Pokémon — Detective Pikachu.” So this is
the scene where Tim Goodman, played by Justice Smith,
meets Detective Pikachu for the first time. And it’s a really
tricky scene because we need to explain
to the audience that Pokémon don’t speak. And on top of that,
Pikachu assumes no one can understand him. And he has to also learn
that Tim can understand him while Tim is learning
that Pikachu can talk. So it’s a really
tricky scene to set up in a very short amount of time
because these Aipom, which are outside and have been
exposed to this gas that turns them from
adorable to vicious, are about to come in. So that’s what this moment
is right here, plus a lot of funny from Ryan Reynolds.” “I know you can’t understand
me, but put down the stapler or I will electrocute you.” “The lighting
setup of the scene is meant to be this sort of
film noir, neo-noir look. But we mixed it with this kind
of “Blade Runner,” Neo Tokyo look.” “You can understand me! I’ve been so lonely.” “And in this moment — I’m going to
state the obvious, but it is really incredible — Justice Smith is — on the
day, there’s nothing there. There are tennis balls. There’s puppets. There’s me. He’s giving a performance
that’s really complicated but has to feel natural,
has to feel funny. It’s very physical. His eye lines are
really complicated. We have laser light going
around for him to follow. There’s wires on him
throwing him into chairs. He’s got to still
react with Pikachu. He’s getting manhandled by
three stuntmen there who were pushing him around. And then we had
to erase it all. It’s amazing. And he still gives this
surprisingly grounded performance in this
very bizarre world of “Detective Pikachu.’” “Come on, kid. Let’s move.” “Aah!”

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Dennis Veasley

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