Legendary Entertainment and Universal Pictures announced today that principal photography has begun on Detective Pikachu, the first live-action film based on the globally popular Pokémon franchise. Nope, you’re not having a fever dream (well, maybe you are, I’m not a doctor); this is a real thing that’s going to be in real theaters next year. It’ll also, not coincidentally, be a character introduced to the Nintendo 3DS family of systems early this year, since the game is used as inspiration for the storyline.
Starring Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool) in the title role, with Ken Watanabe (Godzilla), Justice Smith (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) and Kathryn Newton (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), the film is from director Rob Letterman (Goosebumps, Gulliver’s Travels) and writers Nicole Perlman and Letterman, with Eric Pearson and Tom McCarthy having completed the production polishes. Detective Pikachu arrives in theaters in North America on May 10, 2019.
Here’s more from the studio’s press release, though plot details are slim to none at the moment:
Pokémon has delighted fans of all ages around the world for over two decades. With more than 300 million video games sold worldwide, 23.6 billion Pokémon TCG cards shipped to 74 countries, and an animated series spanning 20 seasons, Pokémon is one of the most successful entertainment properties in the world.
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.