Rob Letterman, a director of Dreamworks Animation’s Monsters Vs. Aliens and Shark Tale, is set to helm Detective Pikachu, the first-ever live-action Pokémon film.

The film is being made by Legendary Entertainment, owned by Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group, and is sure to capitalize on the success of Pokémon Go, the location-based augmented reality gaming app that was a worldwide sensation earlier this year. Although the immediate hype around the game has died down, it has brought enormous attention to the Japanese Pokémon franchise.

Alex Hirsch, creator of the cherished Disney XD animated television series Gravity Falls, and Nicole Perlman, who co-wrote Guardians of the Galaxy, are behind the script for Detective Pikachu.

The character Detective Pikachu was introduced in the adventure game, Great Detective Pikachu: Birth of a New Duo, released earlier this year in Japan for the Nintendo 3DS. In it, a boy named Tim Goodman and Detective Pikachu solve various Pokémon mysteries while also trying to find Tim’s missing father.

Universal Pictures will distribute the film outside of Japan, and Toho will release the film in that country. There is no word yet on a release date.

Nineteen animated Pokémon films have been released theatrically in Japan since 1998.

Animation news you can use
Support independent publishing

Your membership will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you. Support Cartoon Brew for as little as $1 a week — the process is fast and easy.

Become A Member   
Ian Failes

Ian Failes

Ian Failes is a writer covering visual effects and tech for Cartoon Brew.

More in Feature Film:

Latest News from Cartoon Brew