The works of Dr. Seuss have traditionally been big-screen Kryptonite, the smoking wreckage of The Grinch and The Cat In The Hat demonstrating the difficulty of making cutesy rhyming work on film.
That hasn’t put off Danny DeVito however, who is set to be the voice of curmudgeonly environmentalist The Lorax in Illumination Entertainment’s animated adaptation.
Never heard of it? Allow us to inform you…
The tale is an anti-industrialisation fable in which The Lorax takes a stand against the grasping Once-ler, “a shortsighted, greedy creature who chops down every tree he can find.”
He’s a bit of an eco-warrior, The Lorax, and DeVito plans to play him as a character not to be trifled with.
“Look, I don’t want to be gruff about it,” the star told USA Today, “but we’ve got to wake up and smell the oil burning. I’m hoping that the squeakiest wheel gets the least grease.
I feel sometimes the only way to get things done is shake people up a little bit, and the Lorax is not a guy who pussyfoots around. He’s not a guy who uses kid gloves. No, no, the Lorax means business.”
Meanwhile, the rest of the cast will be filled out by Zac Efron, as a young boy attempting to understand why the world is so polluted, and The Hangover ’s Ed Helms, who will play The Once-ler.
Daily Show star Rob Riggle will play another industrialist, whilst Betty White will play Efron’s grandmother.
We’ll reserve judgment on whether this is the project to finally do Seuss justice, but if DeVito can recapture the form that made Matilda such a cracking yarn, it might just have a chance.