Al Pacino has left the animated sequel “Despicable Me 2″ two months before the film’s release date, but actor Benjamin Bratt will step in and play the voice of the villain.
The departure was due to “creative differences,” according to sources. The move comes two months before the film’s premiere date, which is set for July 3.
The actor had finished most of the voicework needed to play the film’s villain, Eduardo.
“We have mutually decided with Al to replace the voice of Eduardo with a new actor,” the film’s studio, Universal Pictures, told Deadline. “Universal and Illumination thank Al for his many contributions to the process and look forward to a new actor bringing this memorable character to the screen upon its release this summer.”
Actor Benjamin Bratt of “Law & Order” is set to replace Pacino. The actor has done voice work before, in the 2009 animated film “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.”
The first film, “Despicable Me,” was a smash hit for Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment. It starred Steve Carell as Gru, a bumbling supervillain who tries to further his evil plans by adopting three girls (Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier, and Elsie Kate Fisher), but finds himself growing fond of his new children despite his efforts to stay focused on his competition with fellow villain Vector (Jason Segel).
Carell, Cosgrove, Gaier, and Fisher are all slated to return for the film’s sequel. “Bridesmaids” actress Kristen Wiig, who voiced a sadistic orphanage owner in the first film, is also set to come back for the new movie, though oddly in what seems to be a new role — her character is listed as Lucy Wilde in the “Despicable Me 2″ credits, not orphanage owner Miss Hattie. Actor Russell Brand will reprise his role as Gru’s helper Dr. Nefario.
Actors Ken Jeong and Steve Coogan have come on board for the sequel as well.