Justice Smith was the first person confirmed to be a part of this movie. Smith's character in Paper Towns (2015) sang the Pokemon theme song in a strip mall scene, after Smith and his co-star, Halston Sage, suggested it.
The realistic style of the Pokémon were based on the artwork by RJ Palmer. The movie's production designer discovered him while he was looking for realistic Pokémon designs on the internet, and he was so impressed by Palmer's artwork that he gave him a job as the concept artist for the movie.
A Detective Pikachu (2016) video game was released on the Nintendo eShop for the Nintendo 3DS on February 3, 2016. It was only released in Japan until 2018, when a full version of the game for Western audiences came along.
In April 2016, The Hollywood Reporter announced a bid for live action movie rights to Pokemon. The Pokemon Company started a top-secret auction and the three frontrunners were Legendary Entertainment, Sony Pictures, and Warner Bros. Pictures. On July 20, 2016, The Hollywood Reporter published an article stating that Legendary Entertainment won the auction for the live action movie rights to Pokemon. Both Legendary Entertainment and The Pokemon Company announced Detective Pikachu as the first film, to be fast-tracked to start production in 2017.
According to a report from May of 2016, Nintendo could possibly release more feature films based off of its video games. Its last movie was Super Mario Bros. (1993) which has been considered by the company as a flop. It was also hinted in early 2015 that a Netflix Original TV Series was to be made based off of Nintendo's "Legend of Zelda" franchise, but no further reports have been made.