The first-ever live-action Pokemon movie has finally found its lead.
Justice Smith will star in Legendary’s feature based on the mystery-solving Detective Pikachu character. Goosebumps director Rob Letterman is set to direct from a script by Guardians of the Galaxywriter Nicole Perlman and Gravity Falls creator Alex Hirsch.
The feature is planned as the first in a series that will be based on the popular Pokemon franchise, which spans card games, video games, TV series and animated films. There have been 20 Pokemon animated features, beginning with Pokemon: The First Movie — Mewtwo Strikes Back in 1998.
The Detective Pikachu movie has been a priority for Legendary since the company acquired the rights to the Japanese property in July 2016, following the Pokemon Go mobile game craze.
The Pokemon Company’s longtime partner, Toho, will handle distribution of the Detective Pikachu film in Japan. Universal Pictures will handle distribution in all other territories.
The Get Down actor, who appeared in John Green adaption Paper Towns, will star opposite Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard in Universal’s Jurassic World sequel. Smith, who is repped by WME, Khol Group and Sloane Offer, is also set for MGM feature Every Day.