In a 2016 Q&A at the Paley Center in Los Angeles, DeVito revealed that he had no idea what Pokémon even are, but that didn’t discourage fans from editing his voice into trailers and holding out hope that those Hollywood bigwigs would see the light and cast the beloved 74-year-old as an even more beloved yellow mouse. However, neither the hundreds of tweets nor the 51,144 signatures on a Change.org petition (which was sent to Game Freak and Nintendo of America in order to lobby for DeVito as the official in-game voice of Detective Pikachu in the English dub) were enough to make their dream come true; the role ultimately went to
But Danny DeVito fans have cause to rejoice, because for a brief moment in time, their shining star did provide the voice of
While visiting the set of
“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 said. “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.”
He continued, “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.”
Seizing on this crucial detail, we pressed him for clues as to which other celebrity voices they tested. Initially, Baxter was reluctant to respond, telling us that he “plead[s] the fifth,” and assuring us that “there were many” options and that they “tried a range of characters.” However, when specifically asked about Danny DeVito, Baxter finally admitted the truth.
“Yeah, we threw some of his …
So there you have it, folks: the words “Rum Ham” may or may not have come out of an eerily lifelike Pikachu’s mouth at one point or another. In the meantime, maybe we can convince the powers that be to cast Danny DeVito as Meowth if they ever deign to do a live-action adaptation of the adventures of Ash, Misty, Brock, and the gang.