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SYFY WIRE Pokemon Detective Pikachu

Pokemon on the go! See how Detective Pikachu's bustling metropolis came to life

By Kevin Sharp

Remember back in May when a movie about a little yellow rodent went toe to toe at the box office with the Avengers: Endgame juggernaut? Well, we’re about to get the rematch on home screens as both Endgame and Pokemon Detective Pikachu arrive on disc within a week of each other. To coincide with Detective Pikachu’s debut on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, and DVD, SYFY WIRE has an exclusive sneak peek at one of its behind-the-scenes bonus features.

In this clip, actors Justice Smith and Kathryn Newton, director Rob Letterman, and members of the production-design team discuss the creation and aesthetic of the movie’s primary setting: Ryme City. The sprawling, retro-future-noir metropolis is the backdrop against which Tim Goodman (Smith) and his partner Detective Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds) follow a trail of clues to try and solve the mystery of Goodman’s missing father.

The setting — which joins the likes of other visionary movie cityscapes like Blade Runner’s Los Angeles and Big Hero 6’s San Fransokyo — is just one example of the level of craft that went into bringing the world of Pokemon and its denizens from Nintendo screens to theater screens. Stevens calls Ryme City “a mix of something from the '40s [or] '50s, and then something sometime in the future,” while Smith describes the look as “a mixture of Tokyo and London.”

Detective Pikachu behind the scenes exclusive clip

“In the end, it’s nowhere in particular,” says production designer Nigel Phelps, who delves into his own process and points out that since the Pokemons themselves are pastel-colored, he went with a neutral palette of grays, black, whites, and beiges to create background contrast. The noir atmosphere was achieved with techniques going back to the Golden Age of black-and-white cinema: long shadows, fog, and “wetdowns.”

Of course, those in attendance at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con got the chance to experience an interactive slice of Ryme City (filled with Easter eggs aplenty) for themselves.

If you missed the first live-action Pokemon movie — which, by the way, is now the highest-grossing game adaptation ever — during its theatrical run, or are ready to revisit it before news of the inevitable sequel, Detective Pikachu is now available in a 4K UHD combo pack, Blu-ray combo pack, DVD special edition, and digital edition.