Ryan Reynolds is an Utterly Terrible Choice to Play the Voice of Pikachu

Matthew Loffhagen
(Photo: Ramtraz)

The live-action “Pokémon” movie, based on the antics of Pikachu in a deerstalker, keeps sounding weirder and weirder.

First off, the movie isn’t actually based on a game that’s been released in English, so nobody has any particular attachment to the concept of a yellow electric rat pretending to be Sherlock Holmes.

The decision to adapt this Japan-only video game for Western moviegoers feels like a cynical attempt to appeal to a pop-culture trend that has more or less run its course already.

Now, to make things even weirder, we finally have a casting choice for the titular main character.

Alas, we’re not getting the fan favorite choice for the role. Sorry, Danny DeVito fans, instead, Detective Pikachu is going to sound suspiciously like Deadpool.

Deadpool with a Super Soaker
Source: Fox

Ew. That feels wrong on a fundamental level.

It’s not like there’s a scarcity of fun actors who could take on the role – if they’d wanted to, the production team behind this movie could have found an actor who’d provide a distinct, unique voice that would have made the “Detective Pikachu” movie stand out from a slew of nostalgia-bait animated characters.

Instead, by choosing the Deadpool guy, this movie is going to end up feeling really icky.

Sure, Ryan Reynolds is known for a lot of different roles, but Deadpool is by far his biggest, most iconic character to date.

What’s more, because Deadpool wears a mask most of the time, Reynolds is used to acting solely through his voice, and audiences are a little more familiar with his particular cadence than they would be if the character was instead voiced by, say, Ezra Miller, or Domhnall Gleeson, or John Boyega.

Nope, instead we’re getting a “live action” version of Pikachu that’ll sound for all the world like Deadpool has been inexplicably transported inside a video game – something which, let’s face it, would pretty much perfectly work within his gonzo comic book movie world.

This news comes mere weeks after “Pokémon” fans were up in arms because of Pikachu’s first English-speaking performance in a movie, when during the latest animated “Pokémon” movie, “I Choose You”, the pint-sized zap mouse opened its mouth to tell Ash Ketchum how much he loves him.

Fans were upset enough about this development. The idea that Pikachu will now be swaggering around, sarcastically solving crimes with the voice of the current movie industry’s least child-friendly comic book superhero, just feels like a tonal mistake.

For plenty of us, watching the “Detective Pikachu” movie will feel very wrong.

We’re all still waiting for the epic adaptation of the anime anyway. This just feels like it’s moving further and further away from the kind of “Pokémon” movie that anybody actually wants.

(Oh, and if you like the Deadpool Pikachu art above, be sure to check out Ramtraz, the artist who created the picture.)