As if it wasn’t already bizarre that there is a video game called Great Detective Pikachu, in which Pikachu is a fast-talking private eye solving mysteries, the game’s U.S. trailer ups the ante as it gives Pikachu the voice of a rock solid Danny DeVito impersonator.
On Friday, Nintendo announced in a new trailer that Great Detective Pikachu, released in Japan in 2016, is finally coming to America and Europe for the Nintendo 3DS on March 23. True to its name, the game stars a different version of the world-famous Pikachu — who talks and acts like a human being, and again, is a detective — as he teams up with a boy, Tim Goodman, to solve mysteries involving Pokémon all over the city.
As if Nintendo knew about that viral YouTube video in which a fan swapped Pikachu’s voice for actor Danny DeVito (Batman Returns, The Lorax), the trailer reveals that the official English-speaking voice for Detective Pikachu sounds like Danny DeVito. Of course, he’s less foul-mouthed than fans would have liked, which is what made DeVito-chu work so well, but it’ll do.
In 2016, when Nintendo first revealed Great Detective Pikachu for Japan, fans went nuts seeing Pikachu talk with a deep, baritone voice. One fan took the concept further, dubbing the Japanese trailer with audio clips of DeVito’s performances (mostly from the FX sitcom It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia). The video became so popular that an online petition to have DeVito star in an official Pokémon game collected over 51,000 signatures.
A few weeks later at an event at the Paley Center, a fan asked DeVito if he would be willing to lend his voice for Detective Pikachu. DeVito replied: “No. What the F is Pokemon?”
Last year, the entire spinoff franchise got even weirder when Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds was cast to play the hard-boiled mouse in a film adaptation of Detective Pikachu. This, for a game that was still available only in Japan at the time. Truly, stranger things have happened.
Detective Pikachu will be released on the Nintendo 3DS on March 23.