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If there were any breakout stars in the Illumination Entertainment animated feature Despicable Me, it had to be the Minions. Gru's babbling bunch of yellow helpers not only proved vital to the day-to-day life of his evil underground lair, but they also proved to offer some of the more amusing moments in the film, which had Steve Carell, Jason Segel and Miranda Cosgrove among the voice-stars. How would the Minions do with their own movie? It looks like we're going to find out.
Deadline reports that Universal has plans to release a Minion-focused film in 2014. Brian Lynch has already written the script for the currently-untitled feature, which is an original story that will have the Minions interacting with new characters in addition to some characters from Despicable Me. Pierre Coffin will direct, with Kyle Balda co-directing.
As much as I love the Minions - including their Minionese cover of the Beach Boys' "Barbara Ann" for the Despicable Me 2 teaser - I have to wonder if a Minion-focused feature film will work. As Deadline notes, amusing background characters in other animated franchises (Scrat from Ice Age, the penguins in Madagascar) are usually delivered in small doses. So Universal and Illumination may be taking a risk here, and it certainly has its challenges. Whether or not it pays off remains to be seen.
At the risk of dating myself (and/or inciting a Star Wars debate), this news is giving me a fuzzy (and furry) flashback of The Ewok Adventure, which is likely due at least in part to the language situation (Minions speak their own language) and the concept of bringing the adorable, funny background characters of a popular film to the forefront of a new story with their own movie.
It sounds like they're trying to coordinate the production on the Minions movie with the Despicable Me sequel, so that the films can release a year apart. DM 2 is slated to hit theaters July 3, 2013, which means if all goes as planned, we should expect the Minions movie in theaters in 2014.