Apparently, a petition that circulated back in 2012 pushed the film to cast DeVito. That said, the petition actually caught the eye of the film’s producers, according to Nerdist.
However, the team didn’t actually have DeVito come in and try out for the role. Instead, the folks behind Detective Pikachu used audio from DeVito’s role in It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia to see if he would fit the part.
“We really tried a range of actors,” visual effects producer Greg Baxter says. “Different pitches, different sounds of voice… big, small, everywhere in between. And really, once you put a voice to an animated character, something just amazing happens, not what you expect. But once Ryan Reynolds went in, it was kind of game over. That was amazing.”
As it turns out, the studio didn’t have anyone come in until after they tested various actors’ voices for the role. However, Baxter says that the decision was almost immediate when they tested out Reynolds.
“We knew what the character was gonna be — you know, what it looked like, the size, the shape, even some of the basic movements,” Baxter says. “And something really magical happened when we put Ryan Reynolds’ voice into Pikachu. 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.”
“I lived and breathed and became the character. I spent the entire year as Detective Pikachu,” Reynolds says. “Every second of my energy is spent making this character come alive.”
Additionally, Reynolds even went to questionable (yet intensely funny) lengths to master the role.
“I was on my way to pick up my daughters from school when I heard I got the role,” Reynolds continues. “Well, I didn’t show up at school because, Detective Pikachu, he doesn’t know who those girls are.”
However, if you are dying to hear how DeVito would sound in the role, fans actually edited the trailer to include his voice back in November. You can check out the video below.
Pokémon: Detective Pikachu premieres in theaters May 10. Check out the latest trailer for the film below.
What do you think about Danny DeVito being considered for the role of Pikachu in Detective Pikachu? Sound off in the comments below.