I’ll admit it: When The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the star of the live-action Detective Pikachu movie would be Ryan Reynolds — who’s providing both the voice and motion capture for the title role — I was as confused, even disappointed, as the rest of you.
For starters, we’re already in agreement that giving Pikachu a human voice is disturbing. That’s not Ryan Reynolds’ fault, nor is it even the fault of the team producing the film. Detective Pikachu is based on a Japanese Nintendo eShop game, where Pikachu actually talks with humans; instead of his teenage partner leading the adventure, Pikachu does all the talking.
Still, it’s disconcerting to hear English words coming out of Pikachu’s mouth, especially with Ryan Reynolds’ voice speaking them. To many of us, Reynolds is foul-mouthed, snarky superhero Deadpool. To others, he’s one of the two guys from Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place. (He’s also Scarlett Johansson’s ex, Blake Lively’s husband and a very good Twitter user.) None of these things are what we’d expect from our beloved Pikachu, who’s certainly a charmer, but not in that boyish, rom-com way.
Imagining a pretty-faced dude as my old friend Pikachu bugged me. But I soon realized: The actor most of us campaigned for to voice Pikachu was the smoky-voiced, AARP-qualified Danny DeVito. Yeah, it was a joke — but it was a joke that gained enough traction as to prompt a response from DeVito on whether he was down with Pokémon. And now that Reynolds is our official Pikachu, Danny DeVito fans are displeased.
Ryan Reynolds will likely be a capable Detective Pikachu but in truth, dear reader, I had my heart dead set on Danny Devito and simply cannot accept an alternative
— Victoria McNally (@vqnerdballs) December 7, 2017
R.I.P the dream of having Danny Devito as Detective Pikachu’s voice
— Oh, Mistletoe? ️ (@Axl_fox) December 7, 2017
I get it; I really do. But Ryan Reynolds has come a long way from the bland romantic lead-type roles that helped him launch his career. Yes, maybe his casting means this movie will be a little more earnest for something as inherently ridiculous as a live-action Pokémon movie. Yes, Reynolds doesn’t have the same incongruent voice that would make Detective Pikachu unforgettably weird. And, yes, maybe I’d rather not believe that this movie is actually, really, truly happening.
There comes a time in your life where you have to accept that there’s only so much control you have over the world around you, though. It’s a tough realization, but Pokémon fans, I think this may be the moment where we come to terms with it.
Detective Pikachu is happening. Ryan Reynolds will provide our favorite Pokémon’s voice. He’s not such a bad dude; let’s hope for the best.