Avengers: Endgame has been hogging the spotlight for weeks now, but if any movie has the chance to snag at least a bit of attention for itself, it’s Detective Pikachu. Starring Ryan Reynolds as a Pikachu that inexplicably speaks English (and also sounds exactly like Ryan Reynolds), this movie — which initially sounded like it would be an unmitigated disaster — managed to surprise and delight viewers with a few stellar trailers.
Early reviews have been promising, but if the movie is a hit, the marketing team (and Reynolds himself) deserve a lot of the credit. In case you haven’t been keeping up, Reynolds has been posting incredible Detective Pikachu-themed videos on YouTube for the past few months, highlighted by a ridiculous behind-the-scenes mini-documentary about the lengths the actors went to in order to “become Pikachu.”
But that all pales in comparison to the latest and greatest marketing stunt of all.
Earlier this week, a suspicious, recently created Twitter account going by the name “Inspector Pikachu” tweeted out a a link to a single YouTube video. The video was titled POKÉMON Detective Pikachu: Full Picture, and at first glance, it appeared to be a full upload of the unreleased movie. Of course, that wasn’t the case:
Less than an hour after the tweet surfaced, Ryan Reynolds responded, bringing it to the attention of the Warner Bros. and the Detective Pikachu Twitter accounts, as if to alert them to the leak. The leak in question (likely in a nod to Ryan Reynolds’ rumored leak of the Deadpool test footage that eventually got that movie greenlit) seemed to originate from Reynolds himself, as a watermark at the top of the video suggests this was his private copy.
But the movie didn’t actually leak. Instead, we see the studio and company logos, we see a short scene of Justice Smith (who plays Tim Goodman) walking down the street, and then the remaining hour-and-a-half-plus is just footage of a CGI Pikachu dancing to an upbeat ’80s synth jam while doing aerobics.
It’s truly brilliant, and it’s no surprise that it has already racked up over 10 million views on YouTube. If you want to see the actual movie, Detective Pikachu hits theaters this Friday, May 10th.