Pokémon’s first movie villain is coming back to theaters this summer.
When an anime franchise gets to be as big as Pokémon, the hype train for new content leaves the station early. So just as sure as we’ll get a new Pokémon movie every summer, distributor Toei will start the teasers and reveals for it the preceding winter.
While the Pokémon movies started off as companion-piece side stories to the ongoing TV series, in recent years they seem to have split off into their own continuity. 2017’s I Choose You was a reimagining of the initial arc of protagonist Satoshi/Ash’s journey to become a Pokémon Master, jettisoning some of the original version’s most memorable cast members in the process, and last year’s The Power of Us (titled Minna no Monogatari/Everyone’s Story in Japan), which had no connection to the characters or events of the Pokémon TV anime.
監督 湯山邦彦 榊原幹典
— マロン (@sukechan415) December 13, 2018
And now it looks like the 2019 Pokémon movie will once again be following the format of I Choose You by acting as a reboot/remake, this time of the very first Pokémon movie
While Toei hasn’t revealed any plot details, the movie’s teaser image shows the sinister eye of Mewtwo, the antagonist of the original 1998 Pokémon movie, and the 2019 movie’s title, Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution, the same as the 1998 feature, just with “Evolution” tacked on to the end.
▼ Mewtwo also appeared, in a more cooperative role, in the 2013 Geenesect and the Legend Awakened movie.
No word on whether the 1998 film’s part where Pikachu gives a violent clone 14 consecutive slaps in the face will be included in the new movie.
Source: Livedoor News/Cinema Today via Jin, Toei
Featured image: Twitter/@sukechan415
Top image: YouTube/ YouTube/ポケモン公式YouTubeチャンネル
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s surprised to hear how fleshy Pikachu’s slaps sounds.