Danny DeVito’s voice was used for ‘Detective Pikachu’ test footage

Filmmakers said the actor's "spirit" is still present in the Pokémon movie

Danny DeVito’s voice was used in test footage for the upcoming Pokémon movie, Detective Pikachu.

Fans online had called for the veteran actor to voice the titular character. Three years ago, over 50,000 people signed a petition backing the idea, but the role went to Deadpool’s Ryan Reynolds.

In a new interview, the team behind the movie have confirmed that a version of the film with DeVito as Detective Pikachu exists and could be released in the future. “It was really very funny, so I couldn’t speak to all the reasons why it wasn’t Danny DeVito cast,” VFX producer Greg Baxter told Game Informer of the test footage.

“I love Danny and some point maybe after the movie comes [out], we can share those early tests. It’s absolutely hilarious.”

Producer Cale Boyter added that the filmmaking crew had “definitely thought about” casting DeVito and “how it might inform the spirit of” the film. “I can’t give away too much, but in terms of where the story goes and how it evolves,” he said. “We had to look at everything, including what fans weren’t seeing yet, to make the decision. But the spirit of Danny DeVito, I promise you, is still inside of Pikachu.”

Earlier this year, it was confirmed that a sequel to Detective Pikachu had already been commissioned, before the first movie had even been released. Further details of the second film, including cast, director, and plotline, have yet to be announced.

Detective Pikachu will arrive in cinemas on May 10. It also stars Justice Smith, Bill Nighy, Rita Ora, Rob Delaney, and Suki Waterhouse.