Why Patton Oswalt Was The Perfect Replacement For Louis C.K., According To Secret Life Of Pets 2 Director

Max in Secret Life of Pets 2, played by Patton Oswalt
(Image credit: (Universal))

Secret Life of Pets Max now has something in common with Ratatouille’s Remy: both were voiced by the incomparable Patton Oswalt. The actor replaced Louis C.K. in the sequel to the highly-successful 2016 film that takes audiences into the double lives of our furry friends.

When Chris Renaud, the director of the animated franchise, was tasked with finding a new actor to take on the role of the friendly Terrier in The Secret Life of Pets 2, he thankfully found a perfect fit in Patton Oswalt. In his words:

When we were recasting Max, we wanted to stay true to the character that we had established, but obviously give it some new distinction with a new actor. And Patton easily inhabited the neurotic, hypersensitive Max that we’d established in the first movie, also with a bit of an acerbic to balance that out, particularly when he’s talking to Snowball. It was just about trying to find something that stayed true to the character that we’d established, but also giving it some distinction within that, and Patton just made it his own, instantly.

Recasting a role can be “ruff” stuff, but Patton Oswalt made the transition a smooth one for Secret Life of Pets 2, per the director’s words to Collider. The actor was a great choice to step into the paws of Max and continue his story in one of Illumination and Universal’s biggest hits.

A couple years ago, the studios cut ties with Louis C.K. in light of the sexual harassment allegations against him. Five women spoke out about the comedian exposing himself and masturbating in front of them. Louis C.K. later confessed to committing these acts, leading to many of his connections with Hollywood being dropped, such as the home network to his five-season series Louis, FX, and his movie I Love You, Daddy.

While the actor took some time away from the public eye, recent events have kept him in the spotlight. A leaked standup set back in December contained many offensive jokes targeting transgender people and school shootings. SNL’s Pete Davidson also recently opened up about a time when Louis C.K. tried to get him fired from the sketch show because of his marijuana use.

He’s certainly become a voice many parents wouldn’t want associated with lovable characters in The Secret Life of Pets. When news broke of Louis C.K’s firing, it was unclear what the fate of Max would be, but the sequel found a great alternative to getting rid of the central character.

Secret Life of Pets 2 follows Oswalt’s Max, along with the return of Kevin Hart’s Snowball, Eric Stonestreet’s Duke, Jenny Slate’s Gidget, and Lake Bell’s Chloe. Harrison Ford also joins the star-studded cast as a farm dog named Rooster, with Tiffany Haddish as a Shih Tzu named Daisy. The movie is in theaters now.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.