Justice Smith Talks About Re-Learning To Pronounce “Pokemon” For Detective Pikachu

Justice Smith Talks About Re-Learning To Pronounce “Pokemon” For Detective Pikachu

Detective Pikachu star Justice Smith may have played Pokemon growing up, but that didn’t stop him from making a few mistakes about the franchise during filming.

While preparing for his role in Detective Pikachu, Justice Smith decided to do some research by watching some episodes of the Pokemon anime. As he was watching the American dub of the show, Smith started using their pronunciation of the word “Pokemon”, assuming that it was the correct one.

“I was a big fan of the franchise growing up. Pokemon Gold was one of the first games I got…and I watched the anime. But in prep for this movie, I actually re-watched the anime. I went back to the very beginning, the first two episodes. In the first two episodes, in the American dub, they say ‘Poke-uh-mon,’ ‘Poke-uh-mon’

Smith would later go on set and share this knowledge with the rest of the cast, unaware that its not actually the most widely accepted pronunciation among fans both in Japan, and in the West. It was only when Ken Watanabe arrived on set that Smith discovered his mistake, and learned of how most fans and franchise veterans prefer it to be pronounced.

So I went to set, told everybody ‘This is how you say it, Poke-uh-mon’ and everyone was like, ‘Alright, dope, so we’re going to shoot it from now on saying ‘Poke-uh-mon.’

Then Ken Watanabe comes on set one day and pulls [Director] Rob Letterman aside, and he says, ‘Do you want me to say it how everyone else is saying it, or do you want me to say it right?’ But it’s ‘Poke-eh-mon.’ That was a very humbling moment.”

While this might seem like a minor change to some, the dedication of the film’s cast and crew to getting these small details right is a big part of why Detective Pikachu has earned the goodwill of the fanbase, and why many are looking forward to seeing the film when it premiers on May 10 2019.

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