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'Detective Pikachu' Movie Co-Written By 'Gravity Falls' Creator Starts Filming January 2018

by John Rosca / Oct 17, 2017 09:19 AM EDT
True Detective Pikachu

The "Detective Pikachu" movie is going ahead with production, and filming is set to commence on January 15, 2018, in London. It is the first Pokemon movie coming from (appropriately named) Legendary Pictures, which acquired the film rights to the "Pokemon" franchise last year.

Comic Book Resources suggests that "Detective Pikachu" may not be what American fans were expecting for the first "Pokemon" movie. Rather than featuring a story about the young Pokemon trainer Ash Ketchum, the main protagonist of the popular anime series, "Detective Pikachu" is based on a point-and-click mini-game available only in Japanese.

The surprising choice of adaptation does have a strong creative team that may capture fans' interest. Go Nintendo reports that the screenplay will come from the writing team of Alex Hirsch and Nicole Perlman. Hirsch is the creator of the beloved animated series "Gravity Falls." Nicole Perlman co-wrote the script of "Guardians of the Galaxy" with director James Gunn.

Rob Letterman will direct the "Detective Pikachu" movie. He previously directed "Shark Tale," "Monsters vs. Aliens," "Gulliver's Travels" and "Goosebumps." Letterman's involvement suggests that this will be a film targeted at children, especially since its protagonist is Pikachu.

It's not the Pikachu that most people know from the animated series, however. Screenrant notes that this is a different, high-functioning Pikachu who forms a mystery-solving team with his human friend, Tim Goodman. Detective Pikachu is described as "bossy, talkative and lovable," a character that sounds like a hyperactive Sherlock Holmes type. Unlike the Pokemon on the TV show, Detective Pikachu has command of verbal communication skills.

Legendary Pictures had previously considered a pitch from Max Landis, the creator, and showrunner of the American TV series adaptation of "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency." Landis' pitch did not feature Ash Ketchum either, but a boy named Red whose mother used to be a master Pokemon trainer. Legendary passed on it in favor of the "Detective Pikachu" project.

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