Why did the first live-action Pokémon movie adapt the Detective Pikachu storyline rather than something like Red and Blue? In an interview on the Blank Check Podcast, Detective Pikachu writers Dan Hernandez and Benji Samit dive into the answer.
Basically, the writers wanted to target a story that gave them the creative freedom to open up and explore the world of Pokémon. Everyone knows the story of Pokémon Red and Blue, but not as many people are familiar with the Detective Pikachu 3DS game. Basing the film off of Detective Pikachu allowed the writers to tell a different type of story while showcasing the beautiful Pokémon the team was able to create.
The concept of not keeping Pokémon in Poké Balls the entire time catered to a wider audience. In the film, Ryme City is a place where Pokémon are out and about with their partners, making it the perfect setting to let the Pokémon roam.
You can listen to the entire interview with the writers to learn more about the creative process behind Detective Pikachu in Blank Check’s full podcast: