Detective Pikachu Movie Kicks Off Production, Set to Release in May 2019

The Detective Pikachu live-action movie has officially kicked off its filming. The film adaptation of the popular 3DS spin-off Pokemon title is having its principal production in London. The movie stars Ryan Reynolds as the titular talking Pikachu, alongside other stars like Ken Watanabe, Justice Smith, and Kathryn Newton.

Pokemon fans were clamoring for Danny DeVito to voice Detective Pikachu – even going so far as to create a petition – but Ryan Reynolds was controversially announced to star as Pikachu instead. Though you may be surprised to know that Pikachu will be speaking in this movie, it certainly isn’t the first time this has happened.

The original Detective Pikachu game that the movie is based on follows a detective and his young partner, Tim Goodman (Justice Smith), as Tim searches for his missing father. Unlike the mainline Pokemon games in the series, this is a spin-off title that eschews the RPG elements of games like Ultra Sun & Moon for the Telltale-like adventure genre.

Detective Pikachu

Detective Pikachu released in Japan almost two years ago in February 2016. It wasn’t until just recently that it was revealed that the game will be coming West. In fact, the live-action film adaptation of the game was announced before the game was confirmed for release here.

While the video game will release on March 23rd, the Detective Pikachu movie won’t be releasing until May 10th, 2019. Despite 20 animated movies and counting, this film marks the first live-action adaptation for the Pokemon series. The movie is being directed by Rob Letterman (Goosebumps) and produced by Legendary Pictures (Kong: Skull Island).