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It was just a couple of months ago that Al Pacino signed on to lend his distinctively dramatic voice to Gru's antagonist Eduardo in Despicable Me 2. Pacino had been called in to take the role after Javier Bardem passed, but Deadline reports he has left the project over reported "creative differences." (Oh, that old chestnut!)
Within hours of this announcement, Illumination Entertainment revealed to Variety that Benjamin Bratt had come on board to replace Pacino. Bratt has previously performed voice work on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs as the pint-sized doctor turned cameraman, Manny. You can watch his big moment above.
This casting news is made all the more surprising by Despicable Me 2's fast-approaching release date of July 3rd. Still, sources close to the creative team behind the sequel are confident they will have enough time for Bratt to re-record all of Pacino's lines without affecting the sequel's deadline. Who knows if other changes will be made as well, but we'll probably hear more on that as the cast and crew take on the eventual press junket.
This is the second animated summer release to get a late in-the-game substitution this year alone. Shortly after Disney decided to bump up their straight-to-DVD Cars spin-off Planes to a theatrical release, they dumped lead voice actor Jon Cryer for kinetic stand-up comedian Dane Cook. Of course, in animation this isn't as difficult to do as it has been for live-action offerings like say Jane Got a Gun, which has been struggling to keep its cast on board in the face of various production hurdles.