Detective Pikachu (film)

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Detective Pikachu
Directed by Rob Letterman
Produced by
Written by
Based on
Cinematography John Mathieson
Edited by Mark Sanger
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date
  • May 10, 2019 (2019-05-10)
  • United States
  • Japan
Language English

Detective Pikachu is an upcoming action mystery film directed by Rob Letterman and written by Nicole Perlman and Letterman, based on the video game of the same name. It will be the first live-action film based on the Pokémon series, and the 22nd film in the franchise overall, the film stars Ryan Reynolds as the voice of Pikachu with Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, Ken Watanabe and Bill Nighy in live-action supporting roles.

It is slated for release in the United States on May 10, 2019.[1]



In April 2016, it was reported by The Hollywood Reporter that Warner Bros., Sony Pictures and Legendary Pictures were in negotiations for live-action film rights to Japanese children's franchise Pokémon.[2] Later in July 2016, reported that Legendary was nearing to close a deal for the film after the success of Pokémon Go.[3] On July 20, 2016, it was reported that Legendary and The Pokémon Company had signed on a deal together to make the first live-action film in the franchise, which would be based on the character Detective Pikachu.[4] Max Landis was reported to be writing the screenplay, while Universal Pictures would handle the distribution outside Japan, under a deal with Legendary.[4] On August 16, 2016, Nicole Perlman and Alex Hirsch were in negotiations with Legendary to write the screenplay,[5] on November 30, 2016, Legendary hired Rob Letterman to direct the film, which the studio had fast-tracked for production to start in 2017, while Toho would handle the Japanese distribution.[6]


In November 2017, Justice Smith was cast in the lead human role, with Kathryn Newton cast to costar after an intense session of reading and testing actresses who would appear opposite Smith. Newton beat out Natalia Dyer, Haley Lu Richardson, and Katherine Langford for the role.[7][8] In December 2017, Ryan Reynolds was cast in the titular role to be portrayed via motion-capture.[9] Other actors considered for the role were Dwayne Johnson, Mark Wahlberg, and Hugh Jackman;[10] in January 2018, with production commencing, Ken Watanabe, Bill Nighy, and Chris Geere joined the cast.[11][12] In February 2018, Suki Waterhouse and Rita Ora joined the cast;[13][14] in April 2018, Omar Chaparro joined the cast.[15]


Principal production began on January 15, 2018 in London, England.[16] Nine days later, Legendary announced that principal photography had officially begun,[17] the press release revealed that Alex Hirsch was not involved with the final draft of the script and that Nicole Perlman and Rob Letterman were the only ones credited.[18]


Detective Pikachu is currently scheduled for release in the United States on May 10, 2019 through Universal and by Toho in Japan only.


  1. ^ Kit, Borys (December 11, 2017). "Ryan Reynolds' 'Detective Pikachu' Gets 2019 Release Date". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 25, 2018. 
  2. ^ Masters, Kim (April 14, 2016). "Pokemon Movie Rights Bidding War as China's Legendary Makes Big Play for Japanese Property". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 1, 2016. 
  3. ^ Fleming Jr., Mike (12 July 2016). "Is Legendary Going To Catch Pokemon? Movie Deal In Offing For Hot Franchise Property". Deadline. Penske Media Corporation. 
  4. ^ a b Fleming Jr., Mike (20 July 2016). "Legendary Catches 'Pokemon' Live-Action Movie Rights Deal". Deadline. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved July 21, 2016. 
  5. ^ Kroll, Justin (August 16, 2016). "'Guardians of the Galaxy' and 'Gravity Falls' Writers to Pen 'Pokemon' Movie (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved August 17, 2016. 
  6. ^ Ford, Rebecca (November 30, 2016). "Pokemon Movie 'Detective Pikachu' Lands Director". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 1, 2016. 
  7. ^ Hipes, Patrick (November 17, 2017). "Legendary's 'Detective Pikachu' Sets Justice Smith To Star". Deadline. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved February 10, 2018. 
  8. ^ Kit, Borys (November 29, 2017). "Pokemon Movie Finds Its Female Lead With 'Big Little Lies' Actress". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 10, 2018. 
  9. ^ Kit, Borys; Ford, Rebecca (December 6, 2017). "Ryan Reynolds to Star in Pokemon Movie 'Detective Pikachu' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 10, 2018. 
  10. ^ Erao, Matthew (October 17, 2017). "Detective Pikachu Movie Actor Wishlist Includes The Rock". Screen Rant. Retrieved February 10, 2018. 
  11. ^ Kit, Borys (January 19, 2018). "Ken Watanabe Joins Ryan Reynolds in Pokemon Movie 'Detective Pikachu' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 11, 2018. 
  12. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (January 30, 2018). "Legendary's 'Detective Pikachu' Film Adds Bill Nighy & Chris Geere". Deadline. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved February 11, 2018. 
  13. ^ Kit, Borys (February 1, 2018). "Suki Waterhouse Joins Ryan Reynolds in Pokemon Movie 'Detective Pikachu' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 10, 2018. 
  14. ^ Kit, Borys (February 13, 2018). "Rita Ora Joins Ryan Reynolds in Pokemon Movie 'Detective Pikachu' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ Williams, Caleb (October 13, 2017). "Live-Action 'Pokemon' Movie 'Detective Pikachu' Starts Filming This January in the UK". Omega Underground. Retrieved February 11, 2018. 
  17. ^ Trumbore, Dave (January 24, 2018). "'Detective Pikachu' Begins Production on the WTF Movie of 2019, Starring Ryan Reynolds". Collider. Complex. Retrieved February 11, 2018. 
  18. ^ Erao, Matthew (January 24, 2018). "Detective Pikachu Live-Action Movie Officially Begins Filming". Screen Rant. 

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