Minions: The Rise of Gru is a 2022 American computer-animated comedy film produced by Illumination and distributed by Universal Pictures. It is the sequel to the spin-off prequel Minions (2015) and the fifth entry overall in the Despicable Me franchise. Directed by Kyle Balda, with Brad Ableson and Jonathan del Val as co-directors, the film features Steve Carell reprising his role as Gru and Pierre Coffin as the Minions, 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 starring.
After being delayed for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Minions: The Rise of Gru had its world premiere at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival on June 13, 2022, and was released in the United States on July 1, 2022, by Universal Pictures, in standard and select IMAX theaters. It received praise from critics for its musical numbers and entertainment value for families, although criticism was directed toward the film’s plot. The film has grossed $712 million worldwide, making it the fifth-highest-grossing film of 2022, as well as the highest grossing animated film released during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In January 2017, Universal Pictures and Illumination announced the sequel to their animated film, Minions. The film began production in July 2017, with Brad Ableson added as a co-director. In May 2019, the film’s title was revealed as Minions: The Rise of Gru. In December 2019, it was announced that Pierre Coffin and Steve Carell would be reprising their roles as the Minions and Gru, respectively. Production of the film shifted to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic, following the temporary closure of Illumination Studios Paris.
- Steve Carell as Gru, a rising supervillain and the boss of the Minions
- Pierre Coffin as Kevin, Stuart, Bob, Otto, and the rest of the Minions
- Taraji P. Henson as Belle Bottom, the newly-appointed leader of the Vicious 6, and a master thief
- Michelle Yeoh as Master Chow, an acupuncturist and Kung Fu fighter who helps the Minions on their quest
- RZA as a biker Otto befriends on his way to San Francisco, and Brad’s uncle.
- Jean-Claude Van Damme as Jean-Clawed, a member of the Vicious 6 with a giant mechanical lobster claw for his right arm
- Lucy Lawless as Nun-chuck, a member of the Vicious 6 who is a nun and wields nunchucks
- Dolph Lundgren as Svengeance, a member of the Vicious 6 who is a roller skater
- Danny Trejo as Stronghold, a member of the Vicious 6 with big metal hands
- Russell Brand as Dr. Nefario, an absent-minded scientist who runs a record store
- Julie Andrews as Marlena Gru, Gru’s mother
Minions: The Rise of Gru debuted at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival on June 13, 2022, followed by a premiere on June 25, at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles. The film was originally scheduled for general release on July 3, 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the film’s incomplete status with Illumination Mac Guff‘s temporary closure in response to that event, it was pushed back to July 2, 2021, and later to July 1, 2022.
The film was rumored to have been banned in Lebanon. While the reason for the ban has not been specified, users on social media speculate it was because of the character Nun-chuck portrays nuns as evil.
Deadline Hollywood reported Universal spent $285 million on promotion and tie-ins for the film, the biggest-ever campaign for a Despicable Me film. Toy company Mattel announced that it had entered a three-year deal to create merchandise based on the film. Lego released two sets for the film in 2020. A collaboration with Minecraft, featuring content from the film as well as content from the overall franchise, was released in 2021. Similarly, a collaboration with the film was made within the Roblox game Adopt Me!. IHOP created a special menu based on the film.
Minions: The Rise of Gru is scheduled to stream on NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service within four months of its theatrical release, as part of an 18-month deal. The film would then move to Netflix for 10 months, before returning to Peacock for the last four months. The film was released on Digital on August 2, 2022.
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