Legendary comedian Don Rickles will reprise his role as Mr. Potato Head in Toy Story 4. This has been a huge question mark as we rapidly approach the sequel's release date. Rickles portrayed the iconic toy in all three prior entries in the Pixar franchise and had signed on to voice the role yet again prior to his passing in 2017. However, director Josh Cooley has confirmed that Rickles will indeed be back.
At present, the answer to this question has raised further questions. It had previously been reported that Don Rickles hadn't actually recorded any of his voice over for Toy Story 4 at the time of his passing. Plus, the movie has undergone significant rewrites and story changes since then. So it's unclear how, or in what capacity, Rickles will be utilized. In any event, Josh Cooley took to Twitter recently, sharing an image of the late comedian beside Mr. Potato Head with the following caption.
"All of his pieces may be replaceable, but his voice is not. Honored he signed on for TS4, honored he's in TS4."
It would seem, given what we know, there are two things we can relatively safely assume. For one, Mr. Potato Head probably won't have a very large role in the movie. Not only because Don Rickles reportedly hadn't recorded his dialogue, but even if he had started, what was recorded may not have worked perfectly with the final version of the script. The other is that they will utilize previous recordings from the other three movies. Undoubtedly, there are lines that were cut from the other movies that could somehow be reworked for this one. If Disney can manage to bring Carrie Fisher back as Princess Leia for Star Wars 9, surely they can make this work. The only downside is that it could be a little limiting if they're just working with outtakes and old recordings.
Another key point here is that the cast is huge for this installment. Aside from core returning members such as Tom Hanks as Woody, Tim Allen as Buzz and Annie Potts as Bo-Peep, there are quite a few other voices being worked into the story. This includes Tony Hale, Maddie McGraw, Christina Hendricks, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Keanu Reeves, Ally Maki, Jay Hernandez, Lori Alan, Joan Cusack, Bonnie Hunt, Kristen Schaal, Emily Davis, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Blake Clark, June Squibb, Carl Weathers, Lila Sage, Jeff Garlin, Maliah Bargas-Good, Jack McGraw, Juliana Hansen and Estelle Harris. All of this to say, it's possible they can use Mr. Potato Head sparingly, yet effectively, since there are so many other characters to work with.
The good news is, no matter how it ultimately works out, one of the most crucial elements of the franchise will be in place, one way or another. Toy Story 4 is set to hit theaters on June 21. Be sure to check out the post from director Josh Cooley's Twitter account below.
“Some people say funny things, I say things funny.” -Don Rickles— Josh Cooley (@CooleyUrFaceOff) March 28, 2019
All of his pieces may be replaceable, but his voice is not. Honored he signed on for TS4, honored he’s in TS4. pic.twitter.com/Q7cTRSQNwh