Ryan Reynolds to Play Detective Pikachu in Legendary’s Live-Action “Pokemon” Movie


Ryan Reynolds Detective PikachuGetty Images

is about to spend some time in the gym… the Pokemon Gym, that is, as he has signed on to play the titular motion-capture role in , the Tracking Board has confirmed.

Justice Smith and Kathryn Newton are set to star in Legendary’s live-action movie, which is based on the popular gaming franchise. Rob Letterman (Goosebumps) is directing from a by Alex Hirsch and Nicole Perlman, and is slated to start next month in London.

The film will find Smith teaming up with Detective Pikachu and a sassy journalist (Newton) in order to find his father, who has been kidnapped. Detective Pikachu is a self-styled investigator who is good at finding things… and people.

Legendary has designs on a Pokemon film franchise, so it’s trying to handle this first film with great care. There’s a lot of money riding on its success, given the Pokemon animated series, video games and trading cards, which are available in 74 countries.

Universal will release Detective Pikachu, though it’s unclear whether the film will debut in late 2018 or the first half of 2019. Either way, Reynolds’ i sequel hits theaters on June 1, and you don’t need to be a detective to figure out how well that film will perform at the box office, making the actor’s casting in the Pokemon movie quite the coup.

While I don’t have any plans to see this movie, I’ll admit to playing Pokemon Go for a few weeks last summer, and I fully acknowledge that this franchise has plenty of younger fans, making the film a strong bet depending on its budget.

Reynolds is represented by , and the Hollywood Reporter broke the news of his casting.

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