Are you ready for the first ever live-action Pokemon movie starring everyone's favorite 'Merc with a Mouth' Ryan Reynolds? Ready or not, it's happening and Legendary Pictures has locked down a release date for Detective Pikachu. Bringing the world of Pokemon to live-action has been in the works for a long time, but it's finally a reality. Detective Pikachu is now set to arrive in theaters on May 10, 2019. So mark it on your calendars, Pokemon fans.
There have been plenty of Pokemon animated movies over the years, but this marks the long-awaited arrival to the world of live-action. Detective Pikachu may not be what many fans had in mind, but it's based on a popular video game that was released in Japan. So there's some reason to think that this could be a good way to go. And doing something a little quirky could help get more casual fans in the door.
Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool) was recently tapped to play the title character in the movie. He's said to be voicing the character and possibly doing some motion capture work. That definitely indicates that they're going to aim for a comedic tone with this movie. Justice Smith (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) and Kathryn Newton from Big Little Lies have also been tapped to star in Detective Pikachu. Rob Letterman (Goosebumps) is set to direct. Though, that likely means he won't be directing Goosebumps 2. Or the studio is going to delay the sequel until after he's finished with Detective Pikachu.
The fact that it's taken this long to get a live-action Pokemon movie of any kind going is rather surprising. The franchise has sold more than 300 million video games worldwide, 23.6 billion Pokemon trading cards shipped to 74 countries, with the animated series spanning 20 seasons, Pokemon is one of the most successful entertainment properties in the world. So, if Legendary Pictures and Universal can make a good movie, there's a truly massive built-in audience for something like this.
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. Universal and Legendary have had a very lucrative and successful partnership over the years, so it only makes sense that they'll be handling distribution.
Currently, there are no solid plot details available for Detective Pikachu. However, it's said to be following the game rather closely, which centers on the lead character, whose father has been kidnapped. He teams up with Detective Pikachu to find his missing father, the female lead is said to be a "sassy journalist" who helps the duo along the way. Legendary and Universal seem to be rather confident in the project, as they've given the movie a premium summer release date. Detective Pikachu doesn't have a ton of direct competition, but Avengers 4 comes out the week before and John Wick: Chapter 3 is slated to come out the following week.