Pokemon Movie 'Detective Pikachu' Taps Justice Smith in Lead Role

'The Get Down' star is reportedly on board to star in the first live-action, mystery-solving 'Pokemon' film.

AceShowbiz - Legendary Entertainment has assigned "The Get Down" star Justice Smith to take the lead role in their upcoming "Detective Pikachu". The film, based on an adventure video game of the same name, tells the story of a rare, intelligent and talking Pikachu that is adept at solving mystery. Director Rob Letterman of "Goosebumps" has been tapped to direct the film from a script by Nicole Perlman ("Guardians of the Galaxy") and Alex Hirsch ("Gravity Falls").

Smith is known for his role on "The Get Down", but the actor also had a role in "Paper Towns", a film adaptation of a novel by John Green. The actor's performance on the musical drama series caught the eye of Universal Pictures and director J.A. Bayona. The director then tapped him to be one of the new leads in next year's "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom". Smith is also set to star in MGM's fantasy romance "Every Day (2018)".

Ever since Legendary acquired the rights to Pokemon's intellectual property in July 2016, "Detective Pikachu" has been a top priority. Similar move is also done by Illumination Entertainment, which is reportedly close to a deal that will enable them to get both intellectual property and rights to produce Nintendo's "Mario Bros.".

"Detective Pikachu" is set to be the first project in a movie series based on the famous "Pokemon" franchise. The original franchise consists of card games, video games, TV series and animated films. Up until now, there are 20 known "Pokemon" animated features that begin with 1998's "Pokemon: The First Movie-Mewto Strikes Back".

There are no plot details or release date as of yet, but Variety reports that Universal Pictures will handle the film's distribution in all territories outside Japan. Toho, a longtime partner of The Pokemon Company, will distribute the film in Japan just like what they did with Legendary's "Godzilla".

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