Detective Pikachu 2 Brings In Portlandia Co-Creator Jonathan Krisel To Direct

Nearly four years removed from the original, a "Detective Pikachu" sequel is finally moving forward at Warner Bros. Though it does seem like we're going to get a mostly new team behind the camera. As for in front of the camera? More on that in a moment. For now, what we know is that Jonathan Krisel, the co-creator of "Portlandia," is in negotiations to direct the sequel. This news comes courtesy of Deadline, who reveal that Chris Galletta ("The Kings of Summer") is also on board to pen the screenplay. So things seem to be moving along.

Rob Letterman ("Goosebumps") directed the first film, which finally brought the world of "Pokemon" into live-action. Rather than go with an Ash Ketchum-centric story, Warner Bros. opted to adapt the "Detective Pikachu" video game in a bit of a left-of-center move. It's also one that worked, as the film earned generally favorable reviews and took in $429 million at the global box office against a $150 million budget. But the world of "Pokemon" is incredibly expansive, and it always felt like that first movie was just the start.

As for Krisel, he has primarily worked in TV, having directed quite a few acclaimed comedy shows such as "Kroll Show," "Man Seeking Woman," and "Baskets," amongst others. This would serve as his first foray into big-budget, live-action filmmaking. Deadline didn't explain why Letterman is not returning, but the simple fact that four years have passed probably has something to do with it.

What took so long?

The long gap between installments almost certainly has to do with the pandemic. The first movie came out in the summer of 2019, and by March of 2020, Hollywood was shut down for the better part of a year. Movie theaters suffered, productions ground to a halt, and development at studios took a hit. Getting back on track has taken time and, undoubtedly, were it not for a world-disrupting event, this would have been a larger priority for Warner Bros. More importantly though, Warner Bros. Discovery, under CEO David Zaslav, is focusing more than ever now on franchises. That being the case, expect more "Pokemon."

So, what about the cast? Ryan Reynolds voiced Pikachu in the first film, with Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, Ken Watanabe, and Bill Nighy leading the human cast. This report says no deals are in place yet, though it is believed that Reynolds will have some part to play in the sequel. He's a big star, and he'll be busy filming "Deadpool 3," but it makes every bit of sense to have him come back. We'll see if anyone else returns or if the studio goes in an entirely new direction.

"Detective Pikachu 2" does not yet have a release date set.