Detective Pikachu Visual Effects Staff Tested Danny Devito as Voice Reference
posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
When the North American release of Nintendo's Detective Pikachu video game was announced, plenty of fans speculated on the perfect actor for the job. The Pokémon character is iconic but its role in the game is significantly different than Ash's sidekick from the anime and main game series. Fans put their heads together and a campaign was formed to convince the staff to cast Danny Devito (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) for the role.
Devito is no stranger to voice over work. He voiced the titular Lorax, Philoctetes in Disney's Hercules, and Swackhammer in Space Jam. A fan named Sairith Aramor launched a Change.org petition in 2016 to convince Nintendo to give Devito a shot. The petition garnered over 50,000 signatures put ultimately the role went to Kaiji Tang.
A fan trailer gives a taste of what the game would have been like had Devito voiced the detective.
Even if the petition didn't manage to convince Nintendo, it did have an effect on the visual effects team of Legendary's live-action film adaptation. According to Nerdist, visual effects producer Greg Baxter stated the team used clips of Devito's voice from It's Always Sunny to test Detective Pikachu's animation and as a reference for casting the role. Baxter stressed that Devito was not the only actor they tested during the process.