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Howard Clifford is the true main antagonist of the 2019 movie Pokémon Detective Pikachu. He is the father of Roger Clifford and the visionary behind Ryme City. Initially introduced as a kindly, disabled old man who supports harmony between humans and Pokémon, he is later revealed to be a mad transhumanist who seeks to control the body of Mewtwo and fuse all humans with their Pokémon as a way to reach their full potential. 

He is portrayed by Bill Nighy and voiced by Hiroshi Naka in the Japanese dub.

History

Past

Howard Clifford was the master planner of Ryme City, a place he believed could be the next evolution in human-Pokémon relationships, where Pokémon and humans could live in harmony and there would be no capturing or battling. At some point, he was diagnosed with a degenarative disease, forcing him to stay in a wheelchair. He eventually concluded that to avoid such ailments, humans would have to merge with their Pokémon. One of the few ways to do so would be to infect Pokémon with the R drug derived from Mewtwo's cells, which would send them into a frenzied state during which Mewtwo's powers could be used to fuse them with humans. To meet this end, he hired Dr. Ann Laurent, a Pokémon experimentator, to capture and experiment on Mewtwo. Laurent hired detective Harry to capture Mewtwo, but Goodman found out about their plans and refused. Laurent's team eventually managed to capture Mewtwo and extract R from it, but Goodman and his Pikachu used an electric shock to break Mewtwo's tank and free it, foiling Howard's plans. Laurent's genetically-modified Greninja attempted to kill Goodman, but Mewtwo fused him with his Pikachu to save his life, though Harry still have amnesia from the car crash caused by the Greninja.

Arrival of Tim

When Tim, Harry's son, rode on the train to Ryme City to clean up the house of his apparently-deceased father, he saw a video of Howard and Roger on the CMN network welcoming viewers to Ryme City. After finding a vial of the R chemical and meeting Lucy Stevens at the GMN headquarters, Howard and Roger were finishing up a talk show, during which Roger displayed clear disapproval towards his father's plans.

Pokémon

Owned

Formerly

Trivia

  • He has statues of Dialga, Palkia, and Arceus around his office desk.
  • His actor, Bill Nighy, is most well-known for portraying Davy Jones in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and Minister Rufus Scrimgeour in the Harry Potter franchise.
    • Nighy has stated in interviews that he became a huge fan of Pokémon after his experience with acting in the movie, despite knowing next to nothing of the franchise beforehand.
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