It seems the world has slowly come to grips with Robin Williams‘ suicide, though the Mrs. Doubtfire-shaped hole in our hearts will forever live on. The actor had several upcoming films already finished when he died last week, but it’s possible his wackiest role may not have been completed in time. At least, according to Simon Pegg, star of Terry Jones’ upcoming sci-fi comedy Absolutely Anything, who isn’t sure that Williams’ voice work was finished.
Speaking with The Telegraph, Pegg says, “I’m not sure Robin had completed doing his voice in that movie. He was doing the voice of my dog and I hope that he had completed it because it would be a real shame not to have him in it.” British distributors Lionsgate UK declined to comment on the story, which seems vaguely suspicious, but is not at all indicative of any one specific outcome. After all, this is just Pegg’s opinion, which doesn’t seem to be based on much beyond the fact that we definitely know he didn’t have a conversation that involved Robin Williams saying, “Yes, I surely finished everything.”
My ambivalence towards Pegg’s words stems from those issued by Absolutely Anything producer Mike Medavoy and Monty Python’s Jones, who wrote the film, as well as directing and doing some voicework of his own. Jones spoke with The Guardian after Williams’ death, recalling the lengthy process between Williams’ original agreement to star in the film and the actual production four years later. Here’s his statement, which truly solidifies Jones feels about using someone else for the part:
Robin was a perfectionist. The first time we tried to voice Dennis it was a Skype call with an interminable delay. Robin was not satisfied with the result. He kept on saying: ‘I don’t mind if you get someone else to voice it.’ But we couldn’t do that.
He goes on to say that Williams was inspired to make Dennis the Dog a 16-year-old boy and eventually nailed the part. What’s more, Buzzfeed says that Medavoy “stressed that Williams had finished his work on the film, and will be the voice audiences hear when the dog chooses to speak.” These don’t sound like people scrambling for a replacement. (As if anyone can truly replace Williams in terms of manic voiceovers.)
In Absolutely Anything, Pegg plays a teacher who is given powers by a group of aliens, voiced by Jones, Terry Gilliam, John Cleese, Eric Idle and Michael Palin. (Powers like making his dog talk.) He can now do anything he wants, but it of course leads to complicated situations fairly quickly. Eddie Izzard, Kate Beckinsale, Joanna Lumley and Rob Riggle also star.
So is Pegg just mistaken or are Jones and Medavoy (if those are even their real names) trying to hide something…like aliens? Absolutely Anything hasn’t sought out U.S. distribution yet, but expect to find this one abducting viewers in theaters next year.