Ryan Reynolds is on board to star in the first-ever live-action Pokemon film titled Detective Pikachu for Legendary. Goosebumps helmer Rob Letterman will direct Detective Pikachu from a script by Nicole Perlman and Alex Hirsch. Reynolds is joining Justice Smith and Big Little Lies actress Kathryn Newton in the movie, which is based on the popular gaming franchise.

The story involves the father of Smith’s teenage character being kidnapped, forcing him to team up with Pikachu in order to find him. Newton will portray a journalist.

First introduced in Japan in 1996, Pokemon has seen nearly 300 million video games sold worldwide, 23 billion cards shipped to 74 countries, and an animated series spanning 20 seasons. Universal Pictures will handle distribution of the live-action film outside Japan, as it has done with Legendary’s other films in recent years. The Pokemon Company’s long time movie collaborator, Toho, will handle distribution of the film franchise in Japan.

Reynolds starred as the foul-mouthed lead character in Fox’s Deadpool last year. The superhero vehicle grossed nearly US$800mil worldwide for Fox, spawning a sequel, Deadpool 2, which hits theatres June 1, 2018. He starred with Samuel L. Jackson in The Hitman’s Bodyguard for Lionsgate this year.

Smith recently broke out on the Netflix musical drama series The Get Down after director Baz Luhrmann handpicked him to star in the series that he created and exec produced. That led to Smith being cast one of the leads in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. – Reuters