Front Row Features

HOLLYWOOD—Fans of Gru, the orphan girls, Dr. Nefario, Vector and the minions have cause to celebrate. The writers of “Despicable Me,” the 2010 animated feature about a criminal mastermind named Gru (voiced by Steve Carell), who turns out to have a soft spot for a trio of orphans, and is served by pill-shaped creatures called “minions” are hard at work on a sequel.

Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio, who wrote the upcoming animated feature “The Lorax,” based on the beloved Dr. Seuss book, reveal the “Despicable Me 2” follow up is taking shape.

“We’re knee deep in ‘Despicable Me 2,’ which we’re very excited about,” Paul explained while promoting “The Lorax,” opening March 2. “We just announced Al Pacino as our villain.”

“There’s minion twists, all kinds of things,” added Daurio, his writing partner.

The co-writers will reveal little more about the plot because the sequel is a work in progress.

Daurio and Paul admit they were a little dubious when they were approached to write a sequel to the hit animated comedy, co-directed by Chris Renaud (who also directs “The Lorax”)

We felt it was a complete story and you can’t tell that story again because now (Gru’s) got the girls and they’re a complete family, so the question was where are we going to go from there,” Daurio recalled thinking. “It was a challenge.”

“Initially, we were resistant in some ways because we thought the story had ended with the girls (finding a home and adoptive father),” added Paul. “But then we came up with an amazing idea, and we realized there is more to tell. We’ve been working on it for a year or so now. It’s going to be really fun.”

“Despicable Me 2” is slated for release in 2013.