Legendary's Detective Pikachu has finally found its title character, with Ryan Reynolds coming aboard to play this iconic yellow creature. We reported in October that the studio was looking for a big action star to voice Pikachu, with the studio reportedly having Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson at the top of their list, although other candidates mentioned in that report were Hugh Jackman, Mark Wahlberg and none other than Ryan Reynolds. This report also offers some of the first story details as well.
These new story details indicate that the movie will follow roughly the same story as the video game of the same name that was launched last year. The story centers on the lead charcter played by Justice Smith, whose father has been kidnapped. He teams up with Detective Pikachu to find his missing father, with the female lead character played by Kathryn Newton said to be a "sassy journalist" who helps the duo along the way. The father character has yet to be cast, but casting has been under way in secret for quite some time now, so it's possible we may get more casting updates soon.
The video game this movie is based on follows a young boy named Tim Goodman, who encounters Pikachu, one of the Pokemon characters, and can actually understand what he's saying. This young boy ultimately learns that Pikachu claims to be a great detective, which leads to the two of them teaming up and solving crimes around their city. The video game, which was released in Japan in February 2016, didn't feature a kidnapped father or a sassy journalist element, but it seems this Pokemon live-action movie is sticking close to the core story about a young boy teaming up with Pikachu.
This report also indicates that there will be a motion-capture element to Detective Pikachu, meaning Ryan Reynolds will be wearing a motion capture suit on the set. It isn't know if there will be other Pokemon character elements in this movie, but it certainly seems likely, especially considering the game features Pikachu and Tim Goodman solving cases that all involve Pokemon characters throughout the city. While the narrative thrust of their case will certainly change in this movie, as they both try to find the young boy's father, it's still possible that they could meet various Pokemon characters along their journey.
Director Rob Letterman has taken the helm on Detective Pikachu, working from a script by Nicole Perlman (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Alex Hirsch (Gravity Falls). While production is slated to begin in January, Legendary hasn't set a release date, with Universal Pictures distributing globally through the studio's deal with Legendary, except for Japan, where Toho will handle distribution. Ryan Reynolds followed up last year's global blockbuster Deadpool this year with the Sony sci-fi thriller Life and Lionsgate's action-comedy The Hitman's Bodyguard. He will next be seen reprising his role as the Merc With the Mouth in Deadpool 2, hitting theaters June 1, 2018. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news on Ryan Reynolds' casting earlier today.