The most famous rodent since Mickey Mouse is set for its own feature film. The live-action Detective Pikachu movie, based on the 2016 Pokémon video game Great Detective Pikachu, will hit theaters on May 10th, 2019.
Last week, it was reported that Ryan Reynolds would star (in motion capture) as Pikachu. The cast includes Justice Smith (Get Down), who will co-star as a kid looking for his missing father, and Kathryn Newton (Big Little Lies), a “sassy journalist” who helps Smith’s character and Detective Pikachu on the case. Rob Letterman (Goosebumps) is set to direct. Legendary Entertainment is producing the film, with Universal Picture distributing it.
The Pokémon franchise took on newfound relevance in 2016 with the release of the mobile app Pokémon Go. The mainstream phenomenon of the app continued through most of 2016, and sparked a bidding war for the franchise’s movie rights. Legendary Entertainment won the bidding war, and opted to develop a big-screen spinoff of Great Detective Pikachu. The game centers on the beloved Pokémon who turns into a crime solver and get this: it can actually speak and not just say its name!
Four Pokémon films, all animated, have received theatrical releases in the United States. The last film, Pokémon 4ever, fizzled at the box office in 2002. While many thought Pokémon was a fad best left in the ’90s and early 2000s, the Japanese brand has endured through the years, and Legendary is betting on a big screen comeback.