After more than two decades of TV shows, video games and animated movies, the Pokemon franchise is finally venturing into the world of live action film storytelling. But rather than deliver an adaptation of Ash Ketchum's anime adventures, the new Pokemon movie will be based off the Great Detective Pikachu video game. Unlike other Pikachus, who only say variations of their name (like nearly every other Pokemon), this version of the electrically-charged mouse speaks like a normal person. And if a new report is to be believed, four big Hollywood names are being considered to lend some star power as the unique Pikachu.
According to That Hashtag Show, Hugh Jackman, Ryan Reynolds, Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson are all supposedly being considered by Legendary Entertainment to play the starring Pikachu in a motion capture performance. These actors haven't had any meetings or discussions with the production company yet, their names have just supposedly been tossed around by the Detective Pikachu creative team. It's possible the Pokemon movie will end up turning elsewhere for the actor to voice Pikachu, but for now, these are some interesting candidates.
Between Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds, Reynolds has the more experience in the realm of comedy. While most of his cinematic appearances have been adult-oriented, he did voice Turbo's eponymous character, so playing a wisecracking Pikachu would be a good way for him to collect more younger fans. However, Jackman also has some voice acting experience under his belt thanks to Flushed Away and Rise of the Guardians, and hearing Jackman's voice coming out of a Pikachu would only enhance the amusing incongruity.
Mark Wahlberg's body of work has rested comfortably in PG-13 and R territory, so like Ryan Reynolds, playing a Pikachu in a live action/animated movie would help with reaching a different audience. As for Dwayne Johnson (whose family-friendly appearances include Journey 2 and the upcoming Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle), I'd certainly get a kick out of hearing his booming voice matched with a tiny, cute Pikachu, but given his busy schedule, it's hard to imagine that he would have time to perform in a Pokemon movie.
Like the Great Detective Pikachu Nintendo 3DS video game (which has only been released in Japan), the upcoming live action Pokemon movie will revolve around a super-intelligent Pikachu who solves mysteries with his human companion. Hence why he wears a deerstalker cap like the Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes. Goosebumps director Rob Letterman will helm the feature film, and Nicole Perlman and Alex Hirsch of Guardians of the Galaxy and Gravity Falls fame, respectively, are writing the script.
The live action Pokemon movie doesn't have a release date assigned yet, but production is expected to begin at the start of next year. Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates on the Detective Pikachu story, and in the meantime, look through our 2017 premiere guide and 2018 premiere guide to find out what movies will be released over the next year.
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Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.