Fans eagerly awaiting the Friday release of Pokémon: Detective Pikachu got a shocking surprise yesterday when Ryan Reynolds, the voice of the titular character, appeared to leak the entire film (all one hour and forty two minutes) via YouTube.
The video, posted on the dubiously named “Inspector Pikachu” channel rapidly amassed its own fan following, receiving close to 6 million views, 205,000 Likes, and 16,000 subscribers in less than a day. Emblazoned with a Ryan Reynolds watermark, the opening logos and footage look like the real deal–that is, until you get into a little more than a minute of the video.
A sullen Justice Smith enters his father’s apartment in the dreary, neon-lit Ryme City. Everywhere you look, Pokémon can be seen and heard. Then a light flashes and the unexpected shakes its tail!
Of course Ryan Reynolds wouldn’t screw over the film studio and franchise’s hard work by illegally posting the entire project up days before it goes to American theaters. Even if he had, there’s no way YouTube would have kept that stunt running for more than a couple hours.
The majority of the posted video actually features looped animation of Detective Pikachu dancing. It’s oddly relaxing and infectiously cute.
That’s right. We all got rick-rolled by Detective Pikachu.
While it might not be what the majority of people were hoping for when they clicked, it’s still a relevant goodie for diehard Pokémon fans and lovers of all things adorable and fun. Despite the deception, the Like to Dislike ratio of the video is overwhelmingly positive.
The Inspector Pikachu channel is also a brilliant way to rev up hype for the film in the remaining days before its release.
Well played, Detective Pikachu, well played!