The cast list for the Illuminati Entertainment (Horton Hears a Who) adaptation of The Lorax has broken, and there are some plenty of well-known names mentioned along with some more details indicating how this 1800-word story will be filled out into a feature length film.
First of all, Danny DeVito will briefly surface from the TV work that has keep him too busy to be in many movies to lend the voice to the titular orange, fuzzy, dwarfish, mini-man, eco-terrorizing… creature thing. DeVito’s stature is awfully appropriate for the character, but Illuminati Entertainment Chief Chris Meledandri believes it’s his ability to be curmudgeonly and endearing simultaneously that makes him perfect for the role, as he explained to USA Today–
“Danny has this wonderful ability to be acerbic and grouchy but at the same time absolutely lovable… It’s almost like Walter Matthau had. His comedic edge was very sharp, but he always maintained that warmth.”
DeVito will be joined by Ed Helms as the Once-ler, Rob Riggle as an added second industrialist (this company loves Daily Show alumni), Zac Efron as the boy seeking answers for the shitty environment, and Betty White (*sigh*) as the kid’s grandmother. The story apparently spends more time in the present (so to speak) with the boy, his family, and the girl he crushes on so we can explore the dreary post-industry world that is filled with fake plastic trees and fresh air sold only in cans.
I’m actually crossing my fingers for this one, though I’m disheartened to hear that the Once-ler will appear as more than a set of arms. The Lorax is a fun character and if the film can stick to the simple story even with all of the new details, there’s a chance for a nice kid’s movie. The classic Seuss book isn’t going anywhere, and any excuse to get more kids enjoying his fabulous output of creative, imagination-stimulating work is fine by me. The cast is boringly standard for this kind of CG animated film, but DeVito is a fine choice and they hit perfectly on what makes him such a joy to watch. His Mathilda holds up as a sweet kids film that doesn’t pander, and sees the best in the potential of children, even when faced with a truly trashy upbringing. Even on Always Sunny,
where’s he plays a crazy and gross wacko, he’s always
manages to remain… well, adorable.
The Lorax is currently set to speak in 3D for the trees on March 2nd, 2012.