The Detective Pikachu Movie Casts Its Female Lead

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The live-action Pokemon movie, Detective Pikachu, has found its female lead. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Big Little Lies actress Kathryn Newton will play the lead female role. Others reportedly in contention for the role included Natalia Dyer (Stranger Things), Katherine Langford (13 Reasons Why), and Haley Lu Richardson (Split).

According to THR, the movie just recently finished an “intense session of reading and testing” for the part, with Newton ultimately winning the part. She’ll star in the film opposite the male lead, Justice Smith (The Get Down). Newton is now reportedly in negotiations, so it sounds like the deal is not yet completely finalised, though it might just be a matter of time.

Newton will play a character named Lucy who is a “sassy journalist.” It’s not immediately clear who Smith is playing; Pikachu is of course also in the movie, presented as a motion-capture character. Last month, it was reported that big names were being considered to voice Pikachu, including Hugh Jackman, Mark Wahlberg, Ryan Reynolds, and Dwayne Johnson.

Detective Pikachu will be based on the Japanese video game Great Detective Pikachu, in which the Pokemon character features as a master detective. It’s something like Sherlock Holmes but with Pikachu. Unlike the character’s primary appearances in Pokemon games, the detective version of Pikachu speaks, which explains why producers are considering actors with such familiar voices. Production is set to begin in January, but there is no word yet on a release date.

In other Pokemon news, The Pokemon Company announced this week that the franchise has now passed 300 million unit sales across 76 titles dating back to 1996.

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