Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio, the talented screenwriting duo behind the highly successful Despicable Me, reteam on Despicable Me 2 to bring to the big screen an all-new animated comedy adventure for audiences to enjoy. Opening July 3rd, the sequel features the return of former super-villain Gru (Steve Carell), his adorable daughters, the lovable Minions, and a host of new and outrageously funny characters. Paul and Daurio are the writing team responsible for penning the screenplays for The Lorax and Horton Hears a Who!, based on the Dr. Seuss children’s books, and also done in collaboration with producer Chris Meledandri.
At the film’s recent press day, Paul and Daurio talked about expanding on the first film while lightening the tone and introducing new themes and characters for the sequel; giving the Minions, the breakout characters of the first film, a much bigger part; showing Gru’s evolution from super-villain to super-dad as he leaves behind a life of crime to raise Margo, Edith and Agnes; drawing on their own experience as parents, such as dressing up as a Tusken Raider from Star Wars, for inspiration; creating a new Latino super-villain whose journey is similar to Gru’s; and adding some romance to the storyline. Check out the interview after the jump.
Dr. Seuss wasn’t afraid to provide serious messages in his books. Not everything he wrote was Green Eggs and Ham (which, in all fairness, stresses the importance of trying new things). Oh, the Places You’ll Go! is a moving story that could be read to anyone at any age and still be meaningful. The Lorax didn’t have the joy and humor of his other books but instead left its readers with a poignant message and dire warning. Illumination Entertainment’s big 3D CGI-animated adaptation could care less about either. The Lorax gives a begrudging nod towards environmentalism, a halfhearted tip of the hat to Dr. Seuss, and then pours all of its energy into being hip and funny but succeeded at neither.
In Valentine’s Day, singer Taylor Swift showed that acting was not her strong suit. Universal is hoping that perhaps she’ll have better luck with voice acting and has cast her as one of the leads in the CGI animated adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax. Swift will play Audrey the dream girl of the main character, Ted (voiced by Zac Efron). Ted is on a search to find the Lorax (Danny DeVito) and in his search comes across the enigmatic Once-ler (Ed Helms) and the greedy financial king O’Hare (Rob Riggle). Betty White will voice Ted’s wise Grammy Norma.
Hit the jump for the full press release along with a new image from the film. The Lorax is set to be released in 3D on March 2, 2012.
People who enjoyed last weekend’s top-grossing film Despicable Me will be pleased to know that talks are already underway for Despicable Me 2. Deadline reports that Universal Pictures, Illumination (Universal’s family film division) founder/CEO Chris Meledandri, and writers Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio have begun discussions about a sequel. Despicable‘s $56 million opening weekend was notable when you consider that there was no built-in audience. Now it has built an audience, Universal is grabbing hold of a new brand they can develop.
Part of developing that brand entails the creation of two new short films featuring the adorable yellow minions of Gru (voiced by Steve Carell), Despicable Me‘s supervillain protagonist. It is currently unknown whether these short films will be shown in front of future Illumination features a la Pixar, or if they’ll be distributed in another fashion.