The Pokémon Go craze has already spawned at least one big-screen project with the upcoming Detective Pikachu movie, and now that film has snagged two popular writers to script the mystery-solving adventures of the world-famous Pikachu.
Legendary Entertainment and The Pokémon Company have reportedly hired Guardians of the Galaxy screenwriter Nicole Perlman and Gravity Falls writer/creator Alex Hirsch to pen the screenplay for the live-action movie based on a Pokémon spinoff game released earlier this year. The pair’s attachment to the project just a few weeks after it was announced seems to confirm that the film is being fast-tracked by the studios, so we’re likely to get more news about the adaptation in the near future.
Variety, which initially confirmed the writers’ involvement, also reports that the movie will be distributed by Universal Pictures for audiences outside of Japan, while famous Godzilla movie studio Toho will handle the film’s distribution in Japan.
There’s no word on what sort of story Detective Pikachu will tell, but if the movie follows the storyline of the game, it will have Pikachu teaming up with his human pals to solve a mystery set in the Pokémon universe. Production is expected to begin on the film in 2017.
Although they haven’t received much attention in the U.S., movies based on the Pokémon franchise have done remarkably well over the years in markets outside North America. Five films based on Pokémon were released between 1999 and 2003, and they earned a collective $414.9 million at the worldwide box office. (The five films earned just $149 million in the U.S.) With the worldwide hype surrounding the franchise at an all-time high thanks to the Pokemon Go! mobile game, a new movie stands to do well in theaters — both in the U.S. and abroad.
There’s no director, cast, or release date confirmed for Detective Pikachu at this point.