The live-action Detective Pikachu movie now has an official release date and will hit theaters on May 10, 2019. Universal Pictures and Legendary Entertainment are releasing the big screen adaptation of the Pokémon multimedia franchise, which itself began as a simple video game series that debuted in the mid-1990s. The property enjoyed a resurgence in popularity stateside around the time of its twentieth anniversary last year, when the augmented reality game Pokémon Go hit the marketplace.
Detective Pikachu is loosely based on the Pokémon spinoff game series of the same name and is being directed by Rob Letterman (Goosebumps), from a script written by Alex Hirsch (creator of Gravity Falls) and Nicole Perlman (co-writer of the original Guardians of the Galaxy movie). Along with the news that Deadpool himself, Ryan Reynolds is voicing the eponymous character in Detective Pikachu, it emerged this past week that the live-action/CGI film will revolve around a young man (played by The Get Down's Justice Smith) who seeks out the crime-solving Pikachu's help after his father is mysteriously kidnapped.
Universal Pictures has officially claimed May 10, 2019 as the U.S. theatrical release date for Detective Pikachu, ahead of production on the film getting underway next month, e.g. January 2018. Also starring in the movie, as its human female lead, is Kathryn Newton (Supernatural, Halt and Catch Fire) as a "sassy journalist" who helps Smith's character and Pikachu out with their wayward investigation.
Detective Pikachu is now scheduled to arrive one week after Marvel Studios' as-yet untitled Avengers 4 opens in theaters, as well as one week before both John Wick: Chapter 3 and an as-yet untitled Men in Black spinoff film hit the scene. However, seeing as the live-action/CGI Pokémon movie will be appealing more directly to families with kids than any of those franchise movies, it should be able to carve out a decent sized slice of box office pie for itself. It won't have any real competition for the family crowd either, until Disney's live-action Aladdin arrives two weeks later.
With modest hits like Goosebumps and Monsters vs. Aliens under his belt, Letterman has already proven to be a mostly reliable director when it comes to delivering solid family-friendly entertainment. Also boding well for Detective Pikachu is the involvement of Hirsch and Perlman, both of which are screenwriters known for their quirky, yet heartfelt storytelling. Still, if any one thing is going to elevate Detective Pikachu to being more than a generic live-action movie based on a popular IP, it might be the outside-the-box casting of Reynolds as everyone's favorite, lightning bolt tossing pocket monster.
With production on the Pokémon project slated to begin next month, more casting announcements and/or details on the movie's storyline should be arriving very soon. Stay tuned to Screen Rant for more Detective Pikachu updates as they hit the scene!
Source: Universal Pictures
- Detective Pikachu (2019) release date: May 10, 2019