Walt Disney Animation Studios isn’t the only company that thinks far ahead.
Coming off the very unprecedented (and very controversial) box office success of Minions, Illumination Entertainment is wasting no time continuing its quick ascent up the feature animation ladder.
As reported by Deadline, Universal and Illumination announced three Summer release dates for three untitled ‘franchise’ films.
The first film will roll out on July 13, 2018. The second film will follow on July 3, 2019. The third film will bow on July 10, 2020.
In a statement released to Deadline, Universal had this to say about the films: “The upcoming entries will be full of the sweet-yet-subversive humor, relatable characters and innovative visuals that have come to be expected from the makers of the beloved Despicable Me franchise.”
The next Illumination release will be The Secret Life of Pets on July 8 of next year. Following Pets will be an untitled musical on December 21, 2016, Despicable Me 3 on June 30, 2017, and Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas on November 17, 2017.
Do take note of how the three untitled films in question are referred to as ‘franchise’ films. Currently, Despicable Me is the only major franchise that was developed under Illumination’s purview, so this word does raise a lot of interesting questions (that may or may not be officially addressed at some point).
Perhaps they hope The Secret Life of Pets and/or the untitled musical are potential franchise starters. This may not be the case in real life (for now), but – even if this were true – that still leaves us with one date to fill in.
I don’t know about you, but I have a strong feeling that the Despicable Me franchise won’t end with the third film. In that regard, I wouldn’t be surprised if the 2020 date were somehow given to a fourth movie. Or, if this release date isn’t for a Despicable Me film, then I also wouldn’t be surprised if Minions 2 landed somewhere (because a studio obviously can’t ignore a spinoff that made that much money).
One final guess I have is that these could very well be films that were known to be in development, like the long-gestating Emily the Strange adaptation and The Cat in the Hat (another Dr. Seuss/Illumination project).
In any case, this news is a strong statement from Illumination. It’s made its mark, it has the full attention of the animation world, and it won’t taper off anytime soon.
Do you have any thoughts on this news? Are you looking forward to these Illumination films at all?
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes