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'Minions: The Rise of Gru' presents a groovy villain origin story for Steve Carell in latest trailer

Minions: The Rise of Gru arrives in theaters everywhere Friday, July 1.

By Josh Weiss
A still from Minions: The Rise Of Gru

Not even a global pandemic could keep our favorite banana-loving henchmen down for very long. Following an animation delay caused by the COVID-19 crisis, Illuminations Minions sequel — subtitled The Rise of Gru — is back on track with the movie's official trailer.

Set in the 1970s (based on the inclusion of Jaws, we'd peg the exact window as the summer of 1975), the follow-up picks up with a rambunctious, 12-year-old Gru (once again voiced by Steve Carell) who hopes to gain membership in a prestigious group of super-villains known as the Vicious 6. His felonious antics haven't quite reached world conquering levels just yet — right now, the boy with a mean streak is content to chuck weapons-grade stink bombs into movie theaters for a laugh.

When the novice criminal mastermind is rejected from the Vicious 6 and absconds with one of their prized possessions, however, he turns to their former leader, legendary martial arts fighter Wild Knuckles (Alan Arkin), for help. And, of course, Gru also has back-up from his gibberish-speaking followers, the Minions, fronted by Kevin, Stuart, Bob, and a braces-wearing newcomer named Otto. 

Check out the official trailer below:

Taraji P. Henson headlines the Vicious 6 as the cool and confident leader Belle Bottom, whose chain belt doubles as a lethal disco-ball mace. Her fellow villains in arms are Jean Clawed (Jean-Claude Van Damme), who’s armed (literally) with a giant robotic claw; Nunchuck (Lucy Lawless), whose traditional nun’s habit hides her deadly nun-chucks; Swedish roller-skate champion Svengeance (Dolph Lundgren), who dispenses his enemies with spin kicks from his spiked skates; and Stronghold (Danny Trejo), whose giant iron hands are both a menace to others and a burden to him. 

Russell Brand (Dr. Nefario, Gru's future mad scientist-in-chief), Julie Andrews (Gru's overbearing mother), Michelle Yeoh (Master Chow, an acupuncturist with mad kung fu skills), and RZA (his role is still TBD) round out the ensemble voice cast.

The film was helmed by the trio of Kyle Balda, Brad Ableson (The Simpsons), and Jonathan del Val (The Secret Life of Pets franchise). Blada also co-directed the first installment, which brought in over $1 billion at the global box office. 

Chris Meledandri, Janet Healy, and Chris Renaud are producers. Jack Antonoff, Grammy-winning founder and frontman of The Bleachers, curated a soundtrack chock full of '70s-era needle drops.

Minions: The Rise of Gru arrives in theaters everywhere Friday, July 1.

Minions: The Rise Of Gru Poster

Illumination Entertainment, Universal Pictures & SYFY WIRE are all owned by NBCUniversal