Fans of the yellow, adorably silly minions from Universal’s 2010 animated film Despicable Me will be happy to know that the little guys are all set to embark on a cinematic adventure of their very own. According to MSN, the scene-stealing sidekicks of Steve Carell’s evil genius will invade North American cinemas in December of 2014.
The spin-off will handled by filmmaker Pierre Coffin, who also tackled directing duties on the first feature. That film — which co-starred Jason Segel, Russell Brand, and Julie Andrews –was followed up by the minion-oriented short, Despicable Me Presents: Minion Madness.
The feature marks Universal’s fifth collaboration with Illumination Studios, which also produced Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax and Hop. In addition to the Despicable Me, the company is also working on big-screen versions of Woody the Woodpecker, Clifford the Big Red Dog, and an animated adaptation of The Addams Family.
Considering the success of the original feature, it’s not surprising that Universal is willing to dive into that pool for two more theatrical endeavors. According to Box Office Mojo, Despicable Me brought in over $250 million in ticket sales during its domestic run, which isn’t too shabby considering the movie’s budget was an estimated $69 million. Worldwide, the feature netted a cool $534 million. Do you know how many goofy little minions you can buy with that much money?
Fear not, Despicable Me fanatics: The proper sequel to the box office hit is still slated for release in 2013. This feature will also be directed by Coffin, who apparently has an extreme fondness for the franchise. The follow-up will feature returning stars Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Miranda Cosgrove, and Russell Brand as well as newcomers Al Pacino and Steve Coogan.
As of this writing, Despicable Me 2 will arrive in cineplexes all across North America on July 3, 2012. The untitled minion project, meanwhile, won’t hit theaters until December 19, 2014.