The Pokémon: Detective Pikachu movie is set in Ryme City, but, as we learn from Dr. Ann Laurent in one of her recordings, Mewtwo had escaped from the Kanto region 20 years ago.
That’s a direct reference to Pokémon: The First Movie, the anime film that came to cinemas across North America in November 1999. It saw Mewtwo break free from the laboratory where it was created, eventually plotting to take revenge on humanity after it learned that it had been intended to be used as a weapon.
When asked about the significance of the line in Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, director Rob Letterman explained the team’s ambition for the movie to feel “integrated” with the wider Pokémon universe.
“We want Detective Pikachu, which was this new video game that was being developed at the time and has a new region, which is Ryme City, to be integrated into the overall Pokémon universe. We didn’t want this to be completely separate,” Letterman discussed with IGN.
“There’s a lot of things, not just this – we mention the Kanto region, we mention a lot of the Pokémon universe – because we want this to be a part of this bigger thing and be completely connected into the Pokémon movie. So, there would be no way to create a new backstory. It had to feed off of Mewtwo’s actual backstory.”
Whether that is something that they will continue to explore is unclear. We Got This Covered reported back in that Legendary were working on a Mewtwo spin-off movie separate to Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution, as well as another project that would adapt the original Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue games.
Pokémon Detective Pikachu is now out at cinema screens around the world.