2015's Minions finally gave the spotlight (and names) to the small, babbling helpers of the Despicable Me franchise -- but protagonists Kevin, Stuart and Bob will not be featured in this summer's Despicable Me 3.
Entertainment Weekly spoke with the directors of Despicable Me 3 about how the Minions spinoff fits into the overall timeline of the films. “Really, our feeling is that we haven’t seen Kevin, Stuart, and Bob specifically in Despicable Me 1 or 2 anyway, and we wanted to be faithful to the timeline,” co- director Kyle Balda said. “Are they still doing their own thing? Or are they here with Gru and the other Minions? Or, like, is Bob an adult now? We didn’t want to bring that out into the open too much and start to continue a storyline with characters that we hadn’t seen set up earlier.”
Instead, a new Minion will be taking center stage: the mutinous Mel. Fed up with giving up their life of villainy for Gru (Steve Carell), Mel leads the Minions into rebellion. However, left to their own devices, the Minions' mission for independence doesn't go too well.
Though Minions doesn't feature explicitly in Despicable Me 3, it does inform the character arc of the banana loving lackeys. "Part of what makes Gru the chosen one is that he’s able to survive them," Balda said. "So what we’re exploring now is, what does that look like years later, when all the history has built up? The Minions want to lead a life of villainy, but they’ve imprinted on Gru in a unique way, so what happens when that relationship changes?"
This outing finds Gru safely settled into his no-longer-despicable ways. The main storyline concerns his much more successful, less follicly-challenged twin brother -- so viewers will have to wait until June 30 to see what bearing the Minions' mission and mythos has in Despicable Me 3.
Directed by Pierre Coffin, Eric Guillon and Kyle Balda and featuring the voices of Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Trey Parker, Miranda Cosgrove and Steve Coogan, Despicable Me 3 arrives in theaters on June 30, 2017.