UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. -- Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment founder Chris Meledandri announced today the principal talent for the 3D-CGI feature Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, an adaptation of Dr. Seuss' classic tale of a forest creature who shares the enduring power of hope. The animated adventure follows the journey of a boy as he searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world. Dr. Seuss' The Lorax is the third feature created by Illumination and Universal and will be released March 2, 2012.
Danny DeVito will lend his vocal talents to the iconic title character of the Lorax, while Ed Helms will voice the enigmatic Once-ler. Also bringing their talents to the film are global superstars Zac Efron as Ted, the idealistic young boy who searches for the Lorax, and Taylor Swift as Audrey, the girl of Ted's dreams. Rob Riggle will play financial king O'Hare, and beloved actress Betty White has signed on to portray Ted's wise Grammy Norma.
Dr. Seuss' The Lorax reunites much of the team who brought Illumination's inaugural blockbuster hit, Despicable Me, to the big screen. The film will be directed by Chris Renaud (Despicable Me) from a screenplay by Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio (Despicable Me, Hop, Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!). Meledandri and fellow Despicable Me producer Janet Healey are producing for Illumination alongside Audrey Geisel, who serves as the film's executive producer. This is the second collaboration for Geisel and Meledandri, the next project together after their enormous success as executive producers on the global box-office blockbuster Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!.
"In 1970, during his trip to the Serengeti, Ted Geisel scribbled notes on the back of a napkin. These ideas became the foundation for his favorite book, 'The Lorax,'" said Meledandri. "Beyond the story's indelible themes is an ensemble of unforgettable Seussian characters, and the title creature is both acerbic and adorable. Bringing his sharp humor, enormous heart and deep conscience to the project, Danny DeVito epitomizes the Lorax, and we have an absolutely stellar supporting cast led by Ed, Taylor, Zac, Rob and Betty."
Kyle Balda, a key creative lead on Despicable Me, serves as the film's co-director. Eric Guillon, who served as art director on Despicable Me, and production designer Yarrow Cheney will work in the same capacities on Dr. Seuss' The Lorax. John Powell, who will compose the music for the film, formerly collaborated with Meledandri on Robots, Ice Age: The Meltdown and Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!.
The beloved children's tale Dr. Seuss' The Lorax was first published in 1971 and has sold more than one million copies around the world.