The Detective Pikachu live-action movie cast continues to grow, as Rita Ora signs on for the Ryan Reynolds led movie in an undisclosed role. A British singer and model, the 27-year-old Ora doesn't have many acting credits to her name. She has appeared on FOX's Empire (as herself). However, Rita Ora's most notable acting role is in the Fifty Shades movie franchise where she plays Mia Grey, the sister of Jamie Dornan's Christian Grey.
Detective Pikachu has already collected a rather unexpected cast for a Pokemon film. Veteran character actors Bill Nighy and Ken Watanabe have already been cast alongside Reynolds, who is voicing the titular pocket monster and Pokemon franchise mascot. As such, the relatively untested Ora's casting stands out and not just because her role is being left a mystery, for the time being.
THR is confirming that Ora has joined the Detective Pikachu movie cast, but offers no details beyond that. The chances are high that Ora's role is merely of a supporting nature and it might even be an incredibly minor supporting role, at that. The human leads in Detective Pikachu have already been cast, with Kathryn Newton and Justice Smith playing the two young heroes that accompany Detective Pikachu on his mystery adventure in the film. While Smith and Newton will presumably be playing teenage characters (being slightly older than the average hero in the Pokemon games), the two aren't much younger than Ora. Kathryn Newton is 21 years old and Justice Smith is 22 years old. Could Ora be playing one of their peers in the movie, then?
It should be mentioned that overall Detective Pikachu is a bit of a mystery. The movie, which is also the first live-action Pokemon film, will loosely follow the game of the same name. In the game, the (mostly) mute Pikachu is re-imagined as a hard-boiled detective who cracks mysteries and can talk, in a fashion. At the very least, the human hero of the game, Tim Goodman (who Justice Smith will play) can understand Detective Pikachu. For everyone else, Detective Pikachu communicates in the usual Pokemon way, speaking in only variations of its name. Tim, on the other hand, can understand Pikachu in full sentences.
It's very likely that Detective Pikachu will take things in a very different direction from the game, especially since the game will come to the west in March 2018, a year before the movie's set release. This follows a lengthy localized release for the game in Japan.
As of now, all is known about the movie that Nighy's character and his on-screen son will enlist the help of the Sherlockian monster and Tim to solve a mystery. Watanabe will be playing an original character, created specifically for the movie, named Detective Yoshida. It's unclear if Yoshida will be working against the duo of Detective Pikachu and Tim or with them. Given the history of Watanabe's career, it could go either way. Speaking of casting it's also very likely that with Reynolds voicing him, Detective Pikachu will be more goofy and off-the-wall, as opposed to serious and determined.
- Detective Pikachu (2019) release date: May 10, 2019