Legendary Pictures' Detective Pikachu, a live-action film based on the wildly popular Pokemon video game series, is set to go before cameras in London starting in January 2018. Goosebumps director Rob Letterman has been tabbed to head up the project, working from a script by Nicole Perlman (Captain Marvel) and Alex Hirsch (Galaxy Falls).
Detective Pikachu is based on a Japanese point-and-click game called Great Detective Pikachu in which a high-functioning Pikachu and his friend, a human boy named Tim Goodman, become a very unlikely mystery-solving team. Described as "bossy, talkative and lovable," Detective Pikachu goes around in a Sherlock Holmes hat and, unlike your average Pikachu, is capable of a high level of verbal communication. Legendary Pictures snapped up the rights to make a film based on the Pokemon universe back in July of 2016, and some were surprised when they announced Detective Pikachu as their first live-action project under that deal.
Omega Underground reports that Detective Pikachu is now set to go before cameras starting in London in January 2018. No casting announcements have yet been made but with shooting set to crank up, those should be coming along shortly.
Before Detective Pikachu was announced, the estimable screenwriter Max Landis pitched an idea for a Pokemon live-action movie that was considered a candidate to make its way to the screen, but that project fell by the wayside after Legendary put their film in motion. In an interview, an apparently bitter Landis described the "emotional, very cool" story he had in mind for his Pokemon movie before Detective Pikachu rendered it moot, then went on to make fun of the idea of a Pikachu who uses his brain and solves crimes.
When fans envisioned Pokemon appearing on American screens in live-action form, they likely had in mind a story involving Ash Ketchum, the main human character of various anime and manga takes on the series. The Detective Pikachu concept, with its super-intelligent Pikachu and somewhat obscure origin, certainly seems like a bit of a curveball from Legendary as they try to launch a franchise built around Pokemon. The studio will be counting on brand recognition more than anything else to sell general audiences on a movie about a crime-solving Pocket Monster in a Sherlock Holmes hat.
Source: Omega Underground