Ever since Detective Pikachu first released for 3DS in Japan, fans have been obsessed with the idea of Danny DeVito being cast as the English voice of the titular detective. A petition gained over 50,000 signatures, and the news eventually reached DeVito himself, who famously asked, “What the **** is Pokémon?“
As it turns out, the team behind the upcoming Detective Pikachu movie also had DeVito in mind as a candidate for the crime-solving Pokémon. Detective Pikachu Producer Cale Boyter recently had a chat with Game Informer, and when the topic of DeVito came up, he confirmed that it was considered.
“We definitely thought about it and how it might inform the spirit of it. Danny is incredible by the way. I am a huge fan of Danny DeVito.”
— Cale Boyter
VFX Producer Greg Baxter went even further, stating that the team actually animated Pikachu synced to voice clips of Danny DeVito from past roles. DeVito was one of several actors given this treatment during a testing phase, and the test footage was apparently quite funny. Like Boyter, Baxter talked about the “spirit” of a DeVito-voiced Pikachu impacting the movie.
“It was really very funny, so I couldn’t speak to all the reasons why it wasn’t Danny DeVito cast. I love Danny and some point maybe after the movie comes about, we can share those early tests. It’s absolutely hilarious.”
— Greg Baxter
“I can’t give away too much, but in terms of where the story goes and how it evolves, we had to sort of look at everything, including what fans weren’t seeing yet to make the decision. But that spirit of Danny DeVito, I promise you, is still inside of Pikachu.”
— Greg Baxter
Eventually, it was decided that Ryan Reynolds, not Danny DeVito, would be playing Pikachu. Baxter joked with Game Informer’s Kyle Hilliard that Reynolds would love the idea of Danny DeVito’s spirit living on in Pikachu. Now if only we could get a look at those test videos…
Source: Game Informer
Image: Button Masher