LOS ANGELES: Ryan Reynolds appeared to have found a pirated pre-release copy of Pokémon Detective Pikachu – and then made the ill-advised move to share it with his 13 million-plus fans on Twitter.
Of course, the Canadian actor and Deadpool star, who voices the adorable yellow rodent in the upcoming Warner Bros/Legendary Entertainment release, hadn’t really blundered into facilitating a massive piracy scheme.
Reynolds’ tweet was a classic rick-roll: The “pirated” copy of the movie on YouTube includes 60 seconds of what looks like the actual opening sequence of Detective Pikachu – followed by 102 minutes of Pikachu aerobicising on a dance floor.
The “full movie” (at this link) in the first 13 hours on YouTube notched around 3.9 million views, uploaded to an account called “Inspector Pikachu” that was created on May 2.
For Hollywood studios, seeding such bogus copies of their films is a common anti-piracy tactic – designed to draw search-engine traffic away from other pirate sites, and/or to frustrate would-be freeloaders.
The Warner Bros live-action Detective Pikachu hit theatres Wednesday, May 8 in Malaysia. The film also stars Justice Smith (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) and Kathryn Newton (Big Little Lies). It was directed by Goosebumps director Rob Letterman. A sequel is already in the works, to be written by 21 Jump Street scribe Oren Uziel.
Among Reynolds’ other promotional activities for Detective Pikachu, he released an Inside the Actors Studio spoof about his method-acting process for getting into the Pikachu role: “I tried to lose 182 pounds to match his weight, until doctors intervened.” – Variety/Reuters