Ryan Reynolds recently took to Twitter to call out a so-called "leaked" version of Detective Pikachu.
There are some movies that leak online when they are still in theatres, which can be a disaster for their box office takings. Fans of Detective Pikachu might have been momentarily fooled into thinking that the entire movie had been leaked onto YouTube due to a post made by Ryan Reynolds on Twitter, but the whole thing was a stunt planned by Warner Bros.
Ryan Reynolds made a comment on Twitter that linked to a YouTube video titled “POKÉMON Detective Pikachu: Full Picture,” which tagged both the Detective Pikachu and Warner Bros. Twitter accounts, informing them that it was a leak. The YouTube video is around an hour and forty minutes long, so some people initially thought that it was legitimate.
An effort was made to make the video seem legitimate, as it opens with the Warner Bros. logo and several seconds of footage from the movie. At 1:09, however, the footage shifts to a clip of Detective Pikachu dancing, which loops for the remainder of the runtime.
The video has Ryan Reynolds' name in the corner, which is an attempt to make the leak seem legitimate at first glance. When screeners of movies are sent out to critics, they have their name emblazoned on the screen in order to signify who the copy belonged to in case of a leak. An incident happened in 2011 where a screener of Super 8 leaked online and the name in the corner of the screen linked it to radio DJ Howard Stern, which meant that someone in his camp was responsible for the leak.
A legitimate leak of Detective Pikachu would have been devastating for its box office earnings, so it’s good to see that the leak was just a publicity stunt that the cast of the movie was in on. The sight of Detective Pikachu dancing may be akin to a Rickroll, but at least it didn’t ruin the chances for a reportedly good movie to break the curse of bad video game films, especially with the lingering specter of Sonic the Hedgehog existing to reinstate the curse in the future.
Pokémon Detective Pikachu will officially hit theaters on May 10, 2019.