This week Legendary Entertainment and Universal Pictures confirmed that principal photography has begun on “Detective Pikachu,” the first ever live-action film based on the globally popular Pokémon franchise.
Set to star Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool series), the film will also feature Ken Watanabe (Godzilla), Justice Smith (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) and Kathryn Newton (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri). Behind the camera, the film is being directed by Rob Letterman (Goosebumps, Gulliver’s Travels) and was written by Nicole Perlman and Letterman—with Eric Pearson and Tom McCarthy having completed the production polishes.
If you want to set a date for Detective Pikachu, the film is set to arrive in theaters in North America on May 10, 2019.
Here in North America we’ve enjoyed Pokémon for almost over two decades. The franchise has sold more than 300M video games across the globe, and 23.6 billion Pokémon TCG cards have been shipped to 74 countries. The animated series spans 20 seasons, and the Pokémon GO mobile game was a pop-culture phenomenon.
A Detective Pikachu video game is coming to the Nintendo 3DS family of systems early this year, where the new Detective Pikachu character will first be introduced. The game is used as inspiration for the storyline of the film coming out in May 2019.
Mary Parent and Cale Boyter produce Detective Pikachu for Legendary Entertainment, while Joe Caracciolo, Jr. (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Logan) and The Pokémon Company’s Tsunekazu Ishihara serve as its executive producers. Legendary’s Alexandra Mendes co-produces.
The talented creative team includes director of photography John Mathieson (Logan, Gladiator), production designer Nigel Phelps (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Transformers: Dark of the Moon), editor Mark Sanger (Gravity, The Jungle Book), costume designer Suzie Harman (RocknRolla, The Death of Stalin). The film’s visual effects will be crafted by Moving Picture Company (The Jungle Book, Wonder Woman) and Framestore (Paddington 2, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2).
Universal Pictures will handle distribution of Detective Pikachu outside Japan. Toho will distribute in Japan, as it has done in its partnership with Legendary on the blockbuster monster reboot for Godzilla.