Get ready for sassy Pikachu, because Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds will lend his voice to the titular character in Legendary’s upcoming live-action Pokemon movie, Detective Pikachu. The film has been busy casting its young leads in recent weeks, but Reynolds marks the big star-power get for the live-action adaptation of the beloved animated/gaming property.
Reynolds joins The Get Down star Justice Smith, who will get some blockbuster exposure in J.A. Bayona‘s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and Big Little Lies actress Kathryn Newton. Goosebumps helmer Rob Letterman is on board to direct the project, which is scheduled to start filming in London mid-January. The script comes from Nicole Perlman (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Alex Hirsch (Gravity Falls).
As the title suggests, Detective Pikachu isn’t just pulling any ol’ Pokemon property, which have traditionally focused on trainers who collect the cuddly, but powerful creatures called Pokemon to compete in battle tournaments. Instead, the live-action Pokemon film is pulling from the game Great Detective Pikachu, an investigative spin on the Pokemon superstar a la Sherlock Holmes, who has a knack for finding things and solving mysteries.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, Reynolds’ performance will be motion capture-based, and the story follows Smith’s character when he teams up with Detective to track down his kidnapped father. Further details are being kept under wraps for now.
Naturally, Detective Pikachu is intended to be a film franchise starter, drawing from the wellspring of voracious Pokemon fans who have skyrocketed the Pokemon franchise to an international phenomenon. The film was quickly put into development on the heels of Pokemon Go‘s wildfire success in the summer of 2016, but considering how quickly interest in that app dried out, we’ll have to see how much Pokemon the people are craving these days. Universal Pictures will distribute the film outside of Japan, while Toho will handle distribution in Japan.