Let’s be really honest here: when the Detective Pikachu movie first gave us our look at the hyper-realistic Mr. Mime, he looked like a weirdly shaped penis. Don’t deny it, we were all thinking it. Apparently the studio also thought it because this pokemon was “so bizarre,” he almost didn’t make the cut.
During an episode of IGN first, Detective Pikachu Rob Letterman revealed that the process of getting this particular character into the movie took a whopping two years. Since this movie is loosely based on the Detective Pikachu game , they wanted to give this pokemon a film noir interrogation scene with the film’s protagonist and Detective Pikachu himself.
The Road to Mr. Mime
“In their search for Tim’s missing father, [they learn his father] had an informant at the docks,” Letterman mentioned when talking about the importance of this scene. “So they go down to the docks, which is kind of creepy part of town, and they bump into this Mr. Mime character and it recognizes Pikachu, then they realize wait a minute, Pikachu is his father’s old partner. He recognizes him. They put two and two together and realize the father’s informant was actually a Pokemon. So they run down the Mime and do like a classic police interrogation scene ripped out of every detective movie I could think of, but flipped on its head. Because the uncooperative informant that they’re interviewing happens to be a mime.”
He also revealed that consulted actual mimes to nail this particular role, specifically one mime named Trigby. Trigby would rehearse with the actors, playing out the actual scenes in place of Mr. Mime so that the team could get a real look at how the pokemon would intereact.
Because these adorable (and weird) creators were all CGI, some scenes were a bit odder than others when it came to real-time filming, “It was the most awkward, weird thing to shoot. Just reenacting it for you now is making my head explode. It was bizarre.”
Mr. Mime Was So ‘Freaky’, He Was Almost Cut Completely
The studio was very skeptical that any scene involving Mr. Mime would actually work, so much so that they contemplated trashing his appearance all together, “Then we just started showing it to people and people were losing their minds. They were just cracking up and it was so out there. It became one of the standout scenes. We did previews of the movie, people were cheering to see that section. Which is really weird.”
Letterman then went on to talk about how awkward it was to have to talk to the head of the Pokemon Company with their idea proposal and just how awkward their conversations with the Pokemon President really were:
“The most uncomfortable question was me asking permission to put [Mr. Mime] into the movie, because I went to The Pokemon Company,” recalled the director. “I was like I have this idea for this scene, and it requires realizing Mr. Mime photoreal into the live-action world. They thought about it, and [based on all the reasons listed above], they literally looked at me, like yeah you don’t wanna do that. That’s not gonna work. That’s gonna be too weird. That’s gonna be creepy. For all those reasons, it can’t work. It came to the point where I literally had to ask the President of the whole Pokemon Company, Ishihara-san. I gave him the whole pitch, and he started laughing, and he’s like okay, give it a shot.”
Luckily, it all semed to work out in the end, because he’s here – whether we like it or not.
You can learn even more about this character and his road to creation right here through IGN.