Ba phoy? Da da da, ba phoy! Chris Meledandri‘s Illumination Entertainment is at it again. Having turned their run-away hit Despicable Me into a sequel and a newly opened 3D Universal Studios Orlando park ride, the studio has just announced an untitled feature length spin-off starring the Minions due for release via Universal in 2014.
An original story, the film will feature both new and returning characters in the Despicable Me universe, focusing primarily on the adorable yellow creatures and their antics in the human world. With a script already penned by Brian Lynch, the film will feature the return of Pierre Coffin as helmer with his Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax co-director Kyle Balda as his co-director. Additionally, Coffin will return to provide the voices of the Minions with Chris Renaud, his co-director for the original, as well as Despicable Me 2. Production is being timed with the sequel’s schedule so that the films can come out within a year of one another, with pre-production to start at the same time as production of DM2.
Making the Minions leading (little?) men in their own film is an interesting move by Universal and Illumination. They’re the first to have decided to take such a risk on their smaller signature characters, Fox and Dreamworks having reserved Scrat the Squirrel from Ice Age and the Penguins from Madagascar for supporting roles in their respective franchises (though the latter received a successful television spin-off on Nickelodeon). The Minions aren’t necessarily native English speakers either. However, the studio made a smart move in 2010 by focusing their publicity on the clearly popular little guys, giving them a wide range of exposure through YouTube, TV, Facebook and other venues to great success (the original film cost $69 million and ended up making over $540 million worldwide).
The Despicable Me 2 teaser featuring the Minions singing a barbershop version of “Barbara Ann” received over 17 million hits on YouTube since it was released 4 months ago. Overall, it’s clear: the Minions are great business. Illumination and Universal must be very confident in the script Lynch has provided if they’re willing to jump into giving the little yellow sidekicks their own film. That, or they see the dollar signs and plan to jump in headfirst. But as a huge fan of the original film, I must admit: wherever the Minions go, I’ll follow. [Deadline]
Are you excited for the new adventures of the Minions?
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