Pee Wee Herman and Roger Rabbit are two of the most iconic characters in the film and television industry. Now Who Framed Roger Rabbit leaked footage shows that Paul Reubens was almost the face and voice behind both of them.
A YouTube page called TheThiefArchive specializes in releasing rare or unseen footage from movies and television, including classic commercials. Recently TheThiefArchive released an over eight-minute featurette that describes the original concept for Who Framed Roger Rabbit. The video reveals some hidden gems about the movie.
Roger Rabbit fans may be surprised to know that the film’s producers envisioned a completely different Jessica Rabbit than the final version. Jessica was originally a ruthless, ambitious actress who married Roger to further her career. Once she gets a movie role, she begins to ignore him. But Roger’s foolish love for Jessica blinds him to her true nature.
Jessica also had a completely different wardrobe in the original concept. It was a bit more conservative. She wore a blouse and a pencil skirt in early drawings for the character, and her memorable red dress was nowhere to be seen.
The detective hired to clear Roger’s name, Eddie Valiant, was also completely different from the final movie version. He looked less like Bob Hoskins and more like a Humphrey Bogart type of character. The original Who Framed Roger Rabbit was supposed to be much more like the film noirs of the 1940s and 1950s.
The biggest detail that might surprise Who Framed Roger Rabbit fans is that Pee Wee Herman, Reubens, was originally cast as the voice of Roger Rabbit. Towards the end of the video, the producers show some rough outlines of scenes with their original versions of Roger and Jessica. Roger speaks to the audience and Reubens’ voice echoes.
In the final version of the film, Charles Fleischer voiced Roger.