×

‘Big Little Lies’ Actress Kathryn Newton to Star in Live-Action Pokemon Movie

Kathryn Newton, who broke out in her turn as Reese Witherspoon’s daughter in “Big Little Lies,” is in negotiations for the female lead in Legendary’s Pokemon film titled “Detective Pikachu,” based on the titular character, sources tell Variety.

“The Get Down” star Justice Smith will co-star opposite Newton.

Rob Letterman is on board to direct from a script by Nicole Perlman and Alex Hirsch.

First introduced in Japan in 1996, Pokemon has spawned more than 295 million video games sold worldwide, 23.6 billion trading card game cards shipped to 74 countries, and an animated series spanning 20 seasons. The hugely popular “Pokemon Go” app saw the pocket monsters surge back into the pop culture consciousnesses last year.

Universal Pictures will handle distribution of the live-action film outside Japan, as it has done with Legendary’s other films for years. The Pokémon Company’s long time movie collaborator, Toho, will handle distribution of the film franchise in Japan, which it previously did for its partnership with Legendary on “Godzilla.”

Newton’s credits include HBO’s Emmy-winning “Big Little Lies” and movies “Lady Bird” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Upcoming projects include the role of Amy March in the BBC’s “Little Women” miniseries, the CW/WB’s Supernatural spinoff “Wayward Sisters,” the Universal comedy “Blockers” for Point Grey Pictures, and “Ben Is Back” opposite Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges.

Popular on Variety

She is represented by Innovative Artists and Management 360.

More Film

  • Paul Bettany, Sophia Lillis, and Peter

    Amazon Studios Buys 'Uncle Frank' Out of Sundance (EXCLUSIVE)

    Amazon Studios has bought “Uncle Frank,” an acclaimed drama about a closeted gay man forced to come out to his Southern family in the 1970s. The film debuted this weekend at the Sundance Film Festival. UTA Independent Film Group brokered the deal. Amazon had no immediate comment. Alan Ball, the writer of “American Beauty” and [...]

  • Ironbark

    Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate Nab Benedict Cumberbatch's 'Ironbark' Out of Sundance

    North American rights to Benedict Cumberbatch’s civilian spy thriller “Ironbark” have been acquired by Roadside Attractions and Lionsgate out of the Sundance film festival, insiders close to the deal told Variety. Roadside, the specialty label currently behind current Oscar contender “Judy,” and partial owner Lionsgate emerged out of a competitive, days-long bidding process and won [...]

  • Roberto Cicutto President Cinecitta Luce Arrives

    Roberto Cicutto, Former Cinecittà Chief, to Head Venice Biennale

    Roberto Cicutto, the veteran Italian film producer of Ermanno Olmi’s 1988 Venice Golden Lion winner “The Legend of the Holy Drinker” and more recently head of Italy’s Luce-Cinecittà which runs the iconic studios has been appointed president of the Venice Biennale, parent organization of the Venice Film Festival. Cicutto, 71, a Venice native, will replace [...]

  • Deepika Padukone and Rishi Kapoor

    Deepika Padukone and Rishi Kapoor to Star in Bollywood Remake of ‘The Intern’

    Warner Bros., Azure Entertainment and Ka Productions will co-produce a Hindi-language remake of Nancy Meyers’ 2015 hit “The Intern.” Iconic Indian actors Deepika Padukone (“Chhapaak”) and Rishi Kapoor (“The Body”) will play the roles enacted by Anne Hathaway and Robert De Niro respectively in the original. A director for the still untitled adaptation will be [...]

  • A man walks past a closed

    China Box Office Wiped Out as Government Expands Virus Response Measures

    Measures to limit travel and the closure of most cinemas almost completely eliminated box office takings in China on what should have been the country’s busiest movie-going weekend of the year. The pain is set to continue. The Chinese government extended the current public holidays by an additional three days as a means to slow the [...]

  • "The Iron Lady," "Shame" Writer Abi

    'The Iron Lady,' 'Suffragette' Writer Abi Morgan Reveals Breast Cancer Diagnosis

    “The Iron Lady” and “Shame” writer Abi Morgan has revealed she is battling breast cancer. The 51-year-old British writer shared news of her diagnosis during a screening of the second season premiere of BBC One and Sundance TV drama “The Split,” which is produced by “Chernobyl” outfit Sister Pictures and Little Chick. Highlighting that it [...]

  • Amanda Kernell

    Sweden’s Amanda Kernell on Sundance World Premiere ‘Charter’

    “Charter,” Swedish director-writer Amanda Kernell’s eagerly anticipated second feature after the multi-prize-winning “Sámi Blood,” world premieres in Sundance and moves on to Göteborg and the Dragon competition for best Nordic film. What inspired “Charter?” It’s a personal story, as are all my films.  I come from a family with generations of divorced parents actually. So, I [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content