Detective Pikachu Adds Ken Watanabe to Growing Cast

The cast of Legendary’s Detective Pikachu keeps growing and growing, with Oscar nominated actor Ken Watanabe the latest to come aboard. The project is based on the hit video game franchise, but Ken Watanabe is playing a brand new character created specifically for this movie. Ken Watanabe will play a character known as Detective Yoshida, although no further details were given regarding this character. It remains to be seen how many more characters still need to be cast in this upcoming movie.

The story centers on Justice Smith’s character Tim Goodman, who learns that his father has been kidnapped. This leads the youngster to team up with the peculiar Detective Pikachu, who will be played by Ryan Reynolds, an intelligent Pikachu who can actually communicate with humans and claims to be a great detective. They will be joined by Kathryn Newton’s character, who is said to be a “sassy journalist” who helps both Tim and Detective Pikachu on their case. Tim Goodman’s father has still not been cast at this time, but considering how fast this cast is coming together, we may hear more very soon.

We reported in October that production starts this month on Detective Pikachu, which has been confirmed by this new report, which adds that filming will take place in London. Last month, Legendary Pictures set a May 10, 2019 release date for Detective Pikachu, which will go up against TriStar’s The Rosie Project and STX Entertainment’s Uglydolls. It will also open just one week after Marvel’s highly-anticipated Avengers 4, which will most likely dominate the entire month at the box office, and possibly well into June as well. Still, the audience Detective Pikachu will be aiming at likely won’t have much crossover with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

Director Rob Letterman takes the helm on Detective Pikachu, working from a screenplay by Nicole Perlman (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Alex Hirsch (Gravity Falls). Eric Pearson (Thor: Ragnarok) and Tom McCarthy (Spotlight) recently performed production polishes on the screenplay, although it remains to be seen if they are credited for their work, when all is said and done.Mary Parent and Cale Boyter are producing for Legendary, with Joe Caracciolo Jr. and Pokemon’s Tsunekazu Ishihara serving as executive producers. Legendary’s Alexandra Mendes will co-produce.

There was a report from October that Legendary was eyeing some big action stars to play the title character, with Ryan Reynolds on the studio’s initial wish list along with Dwayne Johnson and Mark Wahlberg. With the addition of Ken Watanabe, it’s clear that the studio isn’t afraid of going after top-notch talent, although it remains to be seen what other actors the studio may go for with this project. Ken Watanabe most recently voiced Drift in last year’s Transformers: The Last Knight, and he also lends his voice to the upcoming Isle of Dogs. He will also reprise his role as Dr. Ishiro Serizawa in Legendary’s Godzilla: King of Monsters. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news on the casting earlier today.

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