As movie franchises continue, some of those in them end up passing away for one reason or another and studios are left with difficult decisions. Once a death occurs, the studio must determine to either write the character off or replace the actor who was playing the character. Back in 2017, Don Rickles passed away and many wondered who would provide the voice of Mr. Potato Head in Toy Story 4, and now, it has been confirmed that it will still be Rickles.
Yes, despite his death in April of 2017, it has been confirmed that Don Rickles will be the voice of Mr. Potato Head when Toy Story 4 hits theaters this summer.
In the first three films and some TV specials, Rickles voiced Mr. Potato Head with his amazing sound and humor. When Rickles passed away from kidney failure, he had not even started recording his lines for the fourth film even though he was confirmed as appearing in it.
Still, that’s not going to keep Disney*Pixar from leaving him in the fourth film as the voice of the iconic character. As reported by SlashFilm, director Josh Cooley even took to Twitter to let the world know that Rickles is indeed in Toy Story 4 and he will be the voice of Mr. Potato Head.
“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
Entertainment Weekly spoke with Cooley further about the situation involving Rickles and confirmed that the actor had recorded no dialogue for Toy Story 4. Still, there was plenty of material from the recordings of the first three movies to work the script around what Mr. Potato Head can say.
“Of course we loved Don obviously, and after he passed, his family contacted us and asked if there was any way that we could create a performance using the recordings that we had. Now, he signed to be in Toy Story 4. Unfortunately, we did not get a chance to record him for the film. But we went through, jeez, 25 years of everything we didn’t use for Toy Story 1, 2, 3, the theme parks, the ice capades, the video games — everything that he’s recorded for Mr. Potato Head. And we were able to do that. And so I’m very honored that they asked us to do that, and I’m very honored that he’s in the film. Nobody can replace him.”
As many may remember, Jim Varney voiced Slinky Dog in Toy Story and Toy Story 2, but he died in 2000 which left the lovable character without a voice. Black Clark did end up voicing Slinky in Toy Story 3, and the voice of the springy puppy was quite perfect.
In regard to Mr. Potato Head, director Josh Cooley had no intention of replacing Don Rickles as the spud’s voice. When Toy Story 4 lands in theaters on June 21, fans will hear the late Rickles once again as his iconic voice will still be the sarcastic and brilliant Mr. Potato Head.