"Gotta catch 'em all." That's the basic concept behind the Pokemon franchise, and with a live-action Detective Pikachu film currently in development, it also looks like the series is taking that approach to star power as well. The cast of Detective Pikachu has slowly come together in recent months, and it looks like it has officially grown by one more. Now, we can confirm that Inception and Batman Begins star Ken Watanabe is set to join Ryan Reynolds in the film.
So it's pretty clear that the level of Japanese gravitas in Detective Pikachu just went through the roof. Ken Watanabe has officially signed on to portray a character named Detective Yoshida in Rob Letterman's Detective Pikachu, which is expected to begin shooting later this month. Not much else has been revealed about the Academy Award nominee's character, as it's a brand new role designed for the film itself. But given his status as a detective, we can reasonably assume that he may have a close relationship with the one and only Pikachu.
The casting of Ken Watanabe comes off of the heels of the similar recent announcements of Justice Smith (who will be seen on the big screen in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom later this year), and Big Little Lies actress Kathryn Newton signed onto the cast. And, of course, all of this comes after the announcement of perpetual smartass Ryan Reynolds lending his voice to the titular protagonist.
The THR report of Ken Watanabe's casting makes plenty of sense when we take a look at how Detective Pikachu has come together behind the scenes. Legendary Entertainment is backing the project because Watanabe already has a working relationship with the company. And due to his tenure as Dr. Serizawa in Godzilla and the upcoming sequel Godzilla: King of Monsters, it probably wasn't too difficult to lock him down.
Based on the popular Japanese gaming franchise, Detective Pikachu focuses on the mysterious disappearance of Tim Goodman (Justice Smith)'s father. Unable to crack the case by himself, Goodman enlists Detective Pikachu to help him get to the bottom of the mystery and bring his dad home.
CinemaBlend will bring you more information related to Detective Pikachu as new details related to the Pokemon project become available to us; the film is set for a theatrical release next year on May 10, 2019. Until we learn more about the upcoming Pokemon adventure, make sure to take a look at our 2018 movie premiere guide to see what else is slated for a theatrical release this year!