Minions: The Rise Of Gru to be delayed as coronavirus forces filmmakers to pause production
Despicable Me spin-off Minions 2: The Rise Of Gru will be delayed.
The animated blockbuster was due to be released into UK cinemas on July 10th, but will now be delayed indefinitely.
The film joins the likes of Black Widow, No Time To Die, Mulan and Fast 9 in postponing, but, unlike those movies, the problem isn't the current closure of cinemas, it's the fact that the film isn't finished as yet.
Work on Minions 2: The Rise Of Gru was being conducted in France, and, amid the coronavirus pandemic, animators have been forced to suspend work.
Chris Meledandri, head of producers Illumination, said in a statement: "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."
He continued: "This means we will be unable to finish Minions: 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 offered up an origin story as to how the adorable yellow stars of the Despicable Me franchise came into being. It made over a billion at the box office and now a sequel comes, this time telling how they met their master Gru.
Set in the 1970s, we meet Gru as he applies to join super-villain collective the Vicious 6, who have just ousted their leader, legendary fighter Wild Knuckles.
He fails, but things quickly get worse after Gru outsmarts the group and suddenly finds himself the mortal enemy of the apex of evil. Now he's on the run, with the minions for company...
Steve Carrell returns to voice Gru, with Taraji P. Henson, Michelle Yeoh, RZA, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Lucy Lawless, Dolph Lundgren, Danny Trejo, Russell Brand, Julie Andrews and Alan Arkin also in the voice cast.
Kyle Balda, Brad Ableson and Jonathan del Val direct, working from a script from Brian Lynch.