Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
The 100 Greatest Video Games
The Making Of The West Wing
Subscribe To Empire Today
Save money and get 12 issues for only £25
Go Think Big
Helping young people achieve their career dreams
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
YESTERDAY
James Wan Directing The Conjuring Sequel
He's headed back to horror
Kim Basinger Joins The Nice Guys
As a corrupt chief justice
John Carter Could Return To Mars
As Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. takes the rights back from Disney
Natalie Dormer Ventures Into The Forest
She's set for the supernatural thriller
Re-Release Trailer For 2001: A Space Odyssey
Daisy, Daisy....
Magic Faraway Tree Film Planned
Sam Mendes is producing an Enid Blyton adaptation
Patrick Stewart Enters The Green Room
He'll play a white supremacist
Meryl Streep Heads For Florence
Hugh Grant also aboard Stephen Frears' latest
Billy Boyd To Sing The Hobbit's Closing Credits Song
Viggo Mortensen breathes a sigh of relief
Sean Bean Set For The Martian
Get your 'when does he die?' jokes out now...
Conjuring Sequel Delayed Until 2016
Another New Line horror will take its place in 2015
Eli Roth Gets Cabin Fever Again
Producing a remake of his 2002 original
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
17 October 2014
London Film Festival 2014: Foxcatcher Gala
The Steve Carell wrestling drama arrives in London
More Movie News

RELATED FUTURE FILMS
Foxcatcher
09 January 2015
More Future Films

RELATED REVIEWS
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)
Empire Star Rating
The Way Way Back (2013)
Empire Star Rating
Despicable Me 2 (2013)
Empire Star Rating
Despicable Me 2 (2013)
Empire Star Rating
Hope Springs (2012)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Chris Meledandri Talks Despicable Me 3 & More
Ready for single-celled Minions?

30 January 2014  |  Written by James White  |  Source: Empire

submit to reddit

Chris-Melendandri-Talks-Despicable-Me-3

Despicable Me 2 has become something of a sensation, generating positive reviews, enough money to keep the Minions in bananas for the foreseeable future and a bona fide franchise that will spawn not only a third Despicable Me entry but also a spin-off Minions film focused solely on the squat yellow icons. It’s also up for awards, including a BAFTA and two Oscars. Given the chance to talk to producer and Illumination boss Chris Meledandri, we asked him about the reaction to the latest film, and what's coming up.

Did Meledandri expect the sequel to be so widely awards-nominated, especially given that the first wasn’t? “This time, it felt natural because in 30 years of doing this, I've never been part of a film where the response is so strong and so universal, so while you never assume that you're going to get nominated, it certainly didn’t surprise me when we did.”

The Minions is due out in 2015, and goes retro with the story, flashing back to a time pre-Gru. As Meledandri reveals, it goes even further back than first thought… “We start the Minions film at the dawn of time, when they're Minion single-celled creatures and it takes us all the way up to the 1960s in London and New York.

“The Minions' goal always has been to serve the biggest, baddest villain they can find. But over the years they've inadvertently ended up killing their own leader through happenstance. The movie does become their quest for a new leader and their target becomes the first female supervillain, Scarlett Overkill, voiced by Sandra Bullock.”

He admits that the huge popularity of the nonsense-spouting characters – which, between the toys, theme park ride and spin-off film have gone on to become Illumination/Universal’s version of Mickey Mouse – took everyone on the team by surprise.

“When we were making the first film, all we knew is the animators loved animating them, we loved watching them as the film was evolving, but you rarely at that point are thinking beyond just completing the film. Once the first film was released, there was this chemical reaction between the audience and these characters that started to build, even when there isn't a film in release.”

In between mining the Despicable vein, Illumination has two original projects in the works, including a recently announced, and still untitled, pet adventure featuring the voices of Louis C.K. and Kevin Hart.

Despicable Me 3, meanwhile, is still in a more embryonic state, though Meledandri does admit it’s easier to come up with story ideas for it. “We are in the story phase and the early part of scripting. The experience of moving from the first film to the second film was very different from my prior times developing a sequel. When we moved from Ice Age to Ice Age 2, we were really stuck; a story didn't just organically emerge. While I'm very proud of Ice Age 2, from a storytelling sense, it's a very thin story. It was almost as if there had been a completion in the first film from just a storytelling point of view, not from the audience's love of the characters, it just wasn't leading to another story.”

So you shouldn’t expect the Despicable Me films to stop any time soon. “When we feel like Gru's story is complete, we'll stop making the movies, but right now, what ends up happening is that as we explore stories, there's so much left to tell. Leaving the last film he's married, he's raising the girls, he has completed this work where all of a sudden where he was working on the side of good. But there's just a lot more that collectively, Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio and Pierre Coffin are finding is interesting to explore.”

The Minions will jabber into cinemas on June 26 next year. Despicable Me 2, meanwhile, is up for Best Animated Film at the Oscars and one of only two films, along with Frozen, to feature in the animated and Best Original Song category.


Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

Rebecca Hall Heads To Tumbledown
She's on for the rom-com with Jason Sudeikis
Disney Re-Scales Pete's Dragon
UPDATE: David Lowery in talks to direct his script

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire Meets Jason Bateman And Tina Fey
The stars of This Is Where I Leave You hang out

The Scariest Film Of The Year? Jennifer Kent On The Babadook
The director talks us through her terrifying new film

10 Horror Spin-Offs We Want To See
After Annabelle, what other supporting characters deserve their own film?

Documentaries: What Happened Next
We track down and interview the stars of great non-fiction films

Your Introductory Guide To That DC Movie Slate
Suicide Squad? Cyborg? Aquaman? We explain who’s who in the DC Universe

Captain America 3, Iron Man And Civil War: Where Next For The Marvel Cinematic Universe?
What to make of today's Marvel news

Interactive Gallery: Explore Iconic Movie Spacesuits
Explore the fabric of space-time

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)