The live-action Pokémon movie Detective Pikachu has finally started filming. The Pokémon franchise is no stranger to unusual games based around the popular characters, so it wasn't all that surprising when a mystery-solving Pikachu game sprung up in Japan last year. The shock came when Legendary Pictures announced that the first ever live-action Pokémon film would be based on the Detective Pikachu game. Fans have long wanted to see some version of Pokémon in the real world, with Pokemon GO coming the closest. But while Detective Pikachu may not be expected, it's still moving along at a rapid pace.
Over the past few months, casting news has come in for the Detective Pikachu film being directed by Rob Letterman (Goosebumps). Leading the cast will be Ryan Reynolds as the voice of Pikachu. Meanwhile, The Get Down's Justice Smith will star in Detective Pikachu as the Pokémon's human partner, with Kathryn Newton (Big Little Lies) rounding things out. Now, production has finally begin on next year's idiosyncratic adaptation.
Legendary/Universal announced today that Detective Pikachu has begun filming. Arriving in May of 2019, the movie will have plenty of time to shoot and go through the necessary post-prodcution that will add Pikachu and other Pokémon around the cast. The press release also indicates that Gravity Falls writer Alex Hirsch didn't have a hand in the final script, as Nicole Perlman (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Letterman himself are credited with the final draft.
Along with no word of Hirsch, only Reynolds, Smith, and Newton are named as cast members. We heard recently that Ken Watanabe was cast in Detective Pikachu, but it looks as if that remains unofficial for the time being. Likely, the beginning of production, however, will be followed by a full cast list and a synopsis for the film.
Of course, if fans are looking for an early indication of the film's plot they can simply look to the game. Though the Japanese version will provide an idea, the new Detective Pikachu game trailer indicates the upcoming English remake will be the source of the film. Sure enough, the press release confirms it as the inspiration for the film without a mention of the original game. The new game will arrive in March of this year, providing fans with a rough idea of what the movie will be about a year before it arrives.
If Detective Pikachu is a hit, it's likely that more live-action Pokémon movies will follow. And hopefully, one of them will more closely follow the plot and world of the games. Then again, the film's success could simply lead to an expansion of the universe it establishes, so Detective Pikachu may be the only live-action Pokémon we get for some time.
- Detective Pikachu (2019) release date: May 10, 2019