When Detective Pikachu was first announced, many fans hoped that Batman Returns actor Danny DeVito would be the one to bring the title sleuth to life. Although the role eventually went to Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds, the production did, at one point, consider DeVito, going so far as to do a test.
In an interview with Game Informer, VFX producer Greg Baxter revealed that in the early stages or production he and his team took lines from some of DeVito's past roles and had an early version of Pikachu speak them. “It was really very funny, so I couldn’t speak to all the reasons why it wasn’t Danny DeVito cast,” he said. “I love Danny and some point maybe after the movie comes about, we can share those early tests. It’s absolutely hilarious.”
Producer Cale Boyter also explained that the production was aware of the hopes that DeVito would be cast in the role, saying, “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."
He also added that DeVito is still a part of Pikachu. “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," he said. "But that spirit of Danny DeVito, I promise you, is still inside of Pikachu.”
There are rumors that a sequel to Detective Pikachu is already in development, despite the fact the film hasn't even released yet. There are also reports there are talks of a live-action movie based on Pokemon Red and Blue, the first games in the Western-version series. Pokemon began in Japan in 1996 with Pocket Monsters Red and Green and has since become the highest-grossing media franchise ever, with characters appearing in animated films, toys and, now, live-action movies.
Directed by Rob Letterman, Detective Pikachu stars Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, Ken Watanabe and the voice of Ryan Reynolds. The film opens in theaters on May 10.