Given how the sweeping the COVID-19 pandemic has been, it’s understandable why studios have delayed the release of various movies that were about to come out, especially given that the major theater chains have closed their locations for the foreseeable future. Well, those delays are now affecting projects even further down the cinematic calendar, as evidenced by Minions: The Rise of Gru being removed from its July slot.
Originally set to come out overseas in late June and in the United States on July 3, Universal Pictures has now delayed Minions: The Rise of Gru to a yet-to-be-revealed date, as the spread of the coronavirus has affected the post-production process. In other words, while the second Minions movie might have been close to being completed, because animation studio Illumination has had to indefinitely shut down its operations, it’s unclear when it will be 100% finished.
Here’s what Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri had to say about Illumination temporarily closing down in a statement (via THR):
In response to the severity of the situation in France, we are temporarily closing our Illumination Mac Guff studio in Paris. With this decision we are abiding by the French Government’s guidelines and doing everything possible to slow the spread of the virus as we care for our artists and their families. This means we will be unable to finish Missions: The Rise of Gru in time for our planned global releases in late June and early July. While we all grapple with the enormity of this crisis, we must put the safety and protection of our employees above all. We look forward to finding a new release date for the return of Gru and the Minions.
Minions: The Rise of Gru is just the latest Universal movie that’s been affected by the coronavirus. Trolls: World Tour, which was set for release on April 10, will now also be available for digital rental starting that same date, while F9, which was supposed to come out on May 22, has been pushed to April 2, 2021. Jurassic World: Dominion has also suspended production as a safety precaution.
The news about Minions: The Rise of Gru being pushed back is particularly notable because it’s the first time during this crisis that a delay has been attributed to the inability to complete postproduction work. It’s one thing for completed movies to be held back due to closed-down theaters and social distancing, but if other movies can’t be completed due to a postproduction shutdown, then Minions 2 won’t be the only shakeup for the latter half of the summer 2020 film calendar.
While Minions: The Rise of Gru is the fifth film to be released in the Despicable Me franchise, chronologically speaking, it serves as a prequel to Despicable Me and a direct sequel to the 2015 spinoff Minions. Set in the 1970s, The Rise of Gru follows a 12-year-old Gru attempting to make a name for himself in the supervillain community, only to draw the ire of the Vicious 6 group. In addition to Steve Carell, Pierre Coffin and Julie Andrews reprising their respective roles, the cast includes Taraji P. Henson, Alan Arkin, Michelle Yeoh, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Lucy Lawless, Dolph Lundgren, Danny Trejo, Russell Brand and RZA.
Rest assured, we here at CinemaBlend will let you know when Minions: The Rise of Gru is officially moved to a new release date, as well as keep you updated on other shakeups in the film industry as a result of the coronavirus. Keep track of what movies are still scheduled to come out this year with our 2020 release schedule.