We may be nine months away from the 2020 Academy Awards ceremony, but movie fans and punters who specialise in the entertainment markets are already weighing up the potential contenders in a packed field lining up for the Best Picture Oscar contest.
And a glance at the latest markets offered by bookmakers shows that there will be some stiff competition with many of the biggest Hollywood names in the running. Bookmaker Paddy Power rate the upcoming Martin Scorcese gangster movie The Irishman, which reunites Al Pacino and Robert de Niro on screen for the fourth time in their careers, as the 3/1 favourite to win Best Picture.
Scorcese’s long-awaited feature has some rivals with impressive credentials, including Steven Soderbergh’s political thriller, The Laundromat (4/1), which stars three-time Oscars winner Meryl Streep, Quentin Tarantino’s take on the Manson murders, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (7/1) and a new Tom Hanks movie, A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood (9/1).
But if those prices aren’t to your liking, there’s plenty of outsiders at bigger odds, ranging from the unlikely to the bizarre, into which category comes Pokemon: Detective Pikachu (100/1). The phenomenally successful anime franchise, which has spawned toys, movies, television series and video games, and is it one of those video games that has been the inspiration for this latest movie, the first to be distributed by Warner Bros since Pokemon 3: The Movie (2001).
In its defence, this latest instalment from the Pokemon franchise does seem a cut above the usual commercial cash-in. Directed by Rob Letterman, it stars Ryan Reynolds and Bill Nighy in a live-action production that will rely for its visual effects on the work of the Moving Picture Company, who were behind The Jungle Book and Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them.
Still, though it may well have a wider appeal than young Pokemon fans, the long odds for this anime-crossover project reflect the historical reality that no animated movie has ever won the Best Picture, and in such a competitive year, it seems unlikely that we will see a Pikachu Oscars celebration.