TOHO revealed on Thursday as part of a 2020 lineup announcement that the next film in the Pokémon anime franchise will open in Japan on July 10. The film will be the first all-new anime film in the franchise in two years, since the most recent films in the franchise include Pokémon Detective Pikachu (a live-action film) and Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution (a 3D CG remake of the 1998 film Pocket Monsters: Mewtwo no Gyakushū).
The new film is listed with the title Gekijōban Pocket Monsters 2020.
Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution (Mew Two no Gyakushū Evolution, pictured at right), the 22nd film in the Pokémon franchise, opened in Japan on July 12. The film screened at Anime Expo in Los Angeles on July 4.
The film’s title is a reference to Pokemon: The First Movie, which opened in Japan in 1998 with the Japanese title Pocket Monsters: Mewtwo no Gyakushū. Kunihiko Yuyama returned from other franchise installments to direct the film alongside Motonori Sakakibara (Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, Rudolf the Black Cat). Takeshi Shudō (Pokemon: The First Movie) was credited as the scriptwriter, although he passed away in 2010.
Rob Letterman’s Pokémon Detective Pikachu film opened in Japan on May 3, and in the United States on May 10.
Pokémon the Movie: The Power of Us, the 21st film in the franchise, opened in Japan in July 2018.