Danny DeVito Voicing Detective PIkachu

When it was announced that the first live-action Pokémon movie coming from Hollywood would be Detective Pikachu, fans were perplexed. They were even more surprised when they learned that Ryan Reynolds would be voicing the titular electrified pocket monster turned world class detective. That might be because many fans felt like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star Danny DeVito would have been the perfect choice to take the role instead.

Funnily enough, the Batman Returns villain was considered for the role, and somewhere there’s footage of Danny DeVito’s voice coming out of Detective Pikachu’s mouth. Below, find out about the time when Danny DeVito voicing Detective Pikachu was almost a reality.

You may not have heard about this back in 2016 after the movie was first announced, but there were plenty of tweets and even a Change.org petition that was over 51,000 signatures strong that pushed forth the idea of Danny DeVito voicing Detective Pikachu. Even though Ryan Reynolds ended up winning the role, Danny DeVito was actually one of many voices that were considered for the part.

While visiting the set of Detective Pikachu, Nerdist spoke with visual effects producer Greg Baxter, and he provided some insight into how they determined who would be the best voice for the little guy:

“We knew what the character was gonna be—you know, what it looked like, the size, the shape, even some of the basic movements. But then as we were looking at different actors, we would put voice from what that actor had done in the past through Pikachu just to see how that was gonna play. And something really magical happened when we put Ryan Reynolds’ voice into Pikachu.”

This a common practice with animated movies when they’re figuring out who to cast as the various characters in the film. But since Detective Pikachu is a Pokémon who talks like a human, the special effects crew needed to do the same in order to help with the casting process. While Baxter was initially reluctant to rattle off a list of names that they tested for the role of Detective Pikachu, he did confirm that Danny DeVito’s voiced was used at one point:

“Yeah, we threw some of his… Always Sunny in Philadelphia … in as well. I mean, we really tried a range of actors. Different pitches, different sounds of voice, different … big, small, everywhere in between. And really, once you put a voice to an animated character, something just amazing happens, not what you expect.”

It’s understandable that Baxter doesn’t want to dwell too much on the actors who didn’t get the role. After all, no one wants to hear their voice didn’t fit a role that potentially could have been a big deal for them. But this will undoubtedly please the fans out there who clamored for DeVito to voice the titular role. Maybe they can stir up enough excitement that the footage will be released as a special feature on the eventual home video release. If not, we’ll always have this:

The good news is, Detective Pikachu is in good hands, or rather, vocal chords. Baxter elaborated on why Ryan Reynolds ended up being the perfect choice for the role:

“It’s just not at all what you’d expect and it’s just funny, because … the way he speaks and the way he acts is almost like one giant run-on sentence. He keeps talking until jokes just fly out. And for this little, cute, little thing to have that kind of crass and sarcastic sense of humor and then just kind of keep going … that actually affects the animation.”

Frankly, Reynolds voicing Detective Pikachu is one of the biggest draws of this big screen Pokémon adventure. But the movie itself look surprisingly cool, and we’re very much excited to see it in theaters starting on May 10, 2019.

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