In a move that will surprise western audiences, a live-action Pokemon movie has been confirmed– snubbing Ash Ketchum for one Detective Pikachu.
A Pokemon movie has been rumored for a little while now, and these rumors already cited Detective Pikachu as the protagonist. They also suggested Max Landis, the writer of Chronicle and Wrestling Isn’t Wrestling, may be attached to the project. Now that the movie has been confirmed, we also know that Legendary Pictures will be making the film, their second big-name video game movie in recent memory (they were responsible for the Warcraft film). Universal will handle western distribution.
When rumors began circulating about the film, a petition was begun to have Danny DeVito voice Detective Pikachu. There is no word on whether this will come to fruition.
Detective Pikachu is not a well-known property in the West, but in Japan, he’s the star of the successful 3DS game Great Detective Pikachu: Birth of a New Duo. The game follows a talking Pikachu who isn’t as powerful as other Pikachus, but is much brighter (and dons a Sherlock-style deerstalker hat). He meets Tim Goodman, who can understand him, and they solve crimes together. The gameplay is par for the course: You examine crime scenes for clues and interview witnesses, people and Pokemon alike.
Pokemon GO’s popularity likely has something to do with the push to make this movie happen, and this isn’t the first time Pokemon GO has helped solve a case: A few marines playing near a park happened upon, and helped to capture, an attempted murder suspect.
Filming for the Pokemon live-action film will begin in 2017.