Recasting the Star Wars saga: Danny DeVito as Watto
Played by Andy Secombe in The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, Watto is the first of several non-humanoid characters who won’t require a live human actor. We’re only looking for a voice here, and in this case, it should be a brash, harsh, and sleazy voice befitting a backwater double-dealer like Watto. Danny DeVito, who’s played his share of brash, harsh, and sleazy characters (see him in Matilda, Batman Returns, or any given episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) should do nicely.
DeVito has a lot of voiceover experience (Hercules, The Lorax), so it should be no problem for him to kill it in the recording booth. In fact, his voice may be a little too distinctive. You wouldn’t want people in the audience thinking “Hey, it’s Danny DeVito” rather than “That Watto sure is unpleasant,” but the trade-off is worth it. At the risk of sounding insulting, DeVito has the perfect voice to play a slimy huckster—when he cranks up the volume, he sounds like an archetypical slimeball.
True, casting DeVito as Watto would remove the character’s thick accent, but considering that Watto’s original accent got Lucus accused of building the character out of racial stereotypes, maybe it’s not such a big loss.
Next: The Dark Side shows up, kicks some ass