Ratchet & Clank began in 2002 as a video game series and has since become one of the biggest video game franchises that has not ceased growing in popularity. Now, after all these years, it finally makes its leap onto the big screen in an origin story film titled “Ratchet & Clank.”
The film follows the Lombax mechanic Ratchet (James Arnold Taylor) as he pursues his dream of becoming the newest member of the the universe superheroes, the Galactic Rangers (voiced by Bella Thorne, Rosario Dawson, Jim Ward and Vincent Tong). After rejecting Ratchet, the Rangers are put to the test during an attack on the Solana Galaxy perpetrated by Chairman Drek (Paul Giamatti) and Victor Von Ion (Sylvester Stallone) who have built super robots to take over the universe with. One rejected robot, Clank (David Kaye), shares what evil plan is in store with Ratchet. We soon find that they share an alliance with Doctor Nefarious (Armin Shimerman). It’s up to Ratchet & Clank to save the day as Drek and Nefarious present an ominous threat that must dealt with for the good of the universe.
One of the best things the “Ratchet & Clank” filmmakers did was wisely bring to it many of the original voice actors from the games, which ends up giving it a nice continuity with the rest of the franchise. Among those voice actors is James Arnold Taylor who returns to play Ratchet, a character he has voiced through many video games since 2003. A prolific performer in his field, he has voiced Obi-Wan Kenobi in several “Star Wars” projects, Fred Flintstone in commercials and The Flash in “Legos DC Comics Super Heroes” series.
Taylor gave me a demonstration of his many voices when I sat down to talk with him on the “Ratchet & Clank” press day in Los Angeles, and he talked about the differences between voicing Ratchet in the movie and the video games as well as how he manages to stay positive in an often brutal profession. He truly is one of the nicest people as the interview makes clear, and we are all eager to see what voices he will take on next.
I also got to talk with the movie’s co-writer and co-director Kevin Munroe who previously helmed “TMNT” and “Dylan Dog: Dead of Night.” Munroe talked about the challenges of bringing “Ratchet & Clank” to the silver screen and whose idea it was to make the movie into an origin story. He also talked a little about George Lucas who hired him to make a top-secret CGI project at Lucasfilm which, unfortunately, never came to fruition. Also, he was ecstatic to talk about how he and his wife live in an RV in a sleepy beach community, and really sounds as awesome as it seems.
Ratchet & Clank is now open in theaters.