Sections

Here's the Problem With Ryan Reynolds Voicing Detective Pikachu

A big city Pikachu needs a big ol voice.

Opinion by Nadia Oxford, .

Detective Pikachu is a movie about a little Pikachu solving big city crimes, all Sherlock Holmes-like (he's got the cap and everything). I think we can all agree that's a great premise. Where we might diverge, however, is on our opinions of the person chosen to give voice to Pikachu in the movie's upcoming English adaptation: Ryan Reynolds.

Fans' reactions to the news hasn't been happy or angry as much as simply baffled.

I'm inclined to agree. On a short list of possible choices that included Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Hugh Jackman, we got … Ryan Reynolds. Why, though?

Now, like 99% of planet Earth, I wanted Pikachu to be brought to life by Danny DeVito. I knew that'd probably never happen; it was just a fun wish, one of those things you toss out in hopes Nintendo and / or The Pokémon Company will respond "We hear you, and we obey." As we all well know by now, Nintendo typically choses to do things its own way, and now we have Reynolds as our Detective Pikachu.

I like Reynolds. I think he's a cool guy and a good actor. My problem with him as Pikachu is that he's a safe bet. I know that's a funny thing to say about the guy who's become synonymous with Deadpool, one of the comic industry's most R-rated superheroes (though Deadpool certainly dabbles deeply in anti-heroism, too). Let's just say there's nothing particularly interesting or jarring about hearing Reynold's voice come out of Pikachu's mouth.

People wanted DeVito as Pikachu because his gravelly voice and tendency to be typecast as tactless, rough characters that personify the Big City gels perfectly with the very concept of a Pikachu out of its element. Even though Pokémon Sun and Moon demonstrates humans and Pokémon live side-by-side and help each other out, there's something a little extra grimy about a Pikachu talking directly to humans in English (or Japanese) while pounding the pavement and solving crimes.

Detective Pikachu needs to project his big attitude through a big voice—preferably one that carries a suggestion of chain-smoking, even if that's not a habit we're going to behold on the big screen for obvious reasons. Bringing a tough, street-wise Pikachu to life is a job for Jackman, Johnson, or the aforementioned DeVito. Not Reynolds.

Hell, let's get Tom Waits on this.

Eh, too far. I guess.

Another reason Pikachu's voice needs a suggestion of an edge: Alex Hirsch is one of the movie's screenwriters. Hirsch's Gravity Falls cartoon series is infamous for using dark humor to push at Disney's G-rating. And to do that, you need some appropriate character voices backing you up.

I'm still looking very forward to Detective Pikachu, and I know Reynolds will put in a good performance. The world is bloated with sin and trouble, and I imagine whenever Detective Pikachu finally lands, I'll throw myself at its feet and weep in thankfulness for any scrap of light and innocence. DeVito or no DeVito.

This article may contain links to online retail stores. If you click on one and buy the product we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here.

Comments 9

  • Avatar for donkeyintheforest #1 donkeyintheforest 3 days ago
    I feel like this announcement is actually some kind of Deadpool 2 advertising joke
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for shurn #2 shurn 3 days ago
    I think they wanted to avoid memes of pikachue saying "my magnum Dong". Too late.Edited 3 days ago by shurn
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for NiceGuyNeon #3 NiceGuyNeon 3 days ago
    Pfffft, Ryan Reynolds is going to become every Poke'fans dream voice after this movie cleans up at the Academy Awards. THEN WE'LL SEE HOW MANY OF YOU ARE BAFFLED BY THIS GENIUS CASTING MOVE!

    I would've liked a British Pikachu tbh, really lean into that Sherlock Holmes thing over a nasty Danny Devito, but hey, I guess I was just... the 1%.... EH?
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for SIGGYZtar #4 SIGGYZtar 3 days ago
    I would've preferred Cole Phelps as Detective Pikachu.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for Lane #5 Lane 3 days ago
    I can only support this if he plays his whiny character from "Fifteen"
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for jred250 #6 jred250 3 days ago
    Nadia, keeping beating the DeVito drum until Nintendo finally listens!
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for NiceGuyNeon #7 NiceGuyNeon 3 days ago
    @SIGGYZtar OK, hear me out: we use Mathew McConaughey.

    Get a gravelly True Detective remake going on. Pair Pikachu with a Charmander who thinks he's seen it all and can't stand his partner but begrudgingly accepts and considers him as a friend. CAST THE ENTIRE TRUE DETECTIVE CAST FROM SEASON 1, PUT THEM INTO THIS MOVIE AND RETELL THE SAME STORY BUT THIS TIME THE CULT OF KILLERS ARE BASED AROUND XERNEAS BUT THE KILLER IS LIKE MUCK OR SOMETHING GROSS AND TRASHY LIKE THE TRASH POKEMON EVEN THOUGH OUR SUSPICIONS THAT A POKEMON LIKE CHANCEY IS THE EVIL MASTERMIND WE'LL NEVER KNOW.

    It'll leave open the possibility of a sequel that we'll never explore after we take a misguided tour to Los Angeles and have Meowth as our bravely miscast mob leader, Machamp as our poor exploration of a closet gay man who refuses to accept himself for who he is but without any introspection whatsoever, and the odd budding sexual tension between an emotionless Eevee working under a crooked Arcanine who feels he can rekindle his sense of justice. As it all falls apart about 15% of the way through we'll try to reset the story 50% of the way through, fail at it, and kill off each lead one at a time until we realize just how good we had it with Pikachu and Charmander as our leads and should have never attempted this disastrous sequel.

    At least we saw Meowth pull someone's teeth out with pliers. It won't do much for his career, but damn it, at least we were brave when we cast him in that role.

    I got this detective thing all figured out, just you wait. They'll hire me as the writer/director/producer in no time!
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for MetManMas #8 MetManMas 3 days ago
    Honestly, I'll just be happy if the Detective Pikachu movie results in us getting the Detective Pikachu game in some form. 3DS original, Switch remaster/remake, iOS/Android adaptation, whatever.
    Sign in to Reply
  • Avatar for odaiba-memorial #9 odaiba-memorial 3 days ago
    @NiceGuyNeon Personally, I've always said Patrick Stewart would be a better choice than DeVito.
    Sign in to Reply

Comments

Close