Fans of the world's cutest yellow animated creatures rejoice, because Minions 2 is now officially in production. Director Kyle Balda revealed the news, and spoke about their orcish origins, in an upcoming interview with Dragon+ (via Digital Spy), an official free digital publication of Dungeons & Dragons.
"Production is starting right now actually, in Paris, so I'll be here for another couple of years," he explains. "We're just starting – sets are being built and we're doing some staging and some early layout for the film. And it comes out in almost exactly two years."
But Balda adds that the two-year production schedule is actually considered quite "speedy" for a big animation project of this size to get finished, saying: "But it's great, because every day there's a new puzzle to put together – there's so many moving parts and things are happening at the same time."
The animator and director spoke to Dragon+ about being influenced by his love of Dungeons & Dragons, revealing that he used to draw dungeon maps as a child as well as playing D&D characters with his childhood friends. Having played so much of the game as a kid, it’s no wonder that his vision of minions could be influenced by those that appeared in D&D, which Balda describes as being more like fantasy orcs.
"They were these huge monsters with all kinds of armour and battle axes, and each one looked different. They weren't as much fun as these cute little guys who do stupid things," he says. "Because Gru was this gruff, curmudgeonly character, they provide a nice balance to him."
Thankfully, it seems keeping them cute was the right idea. Last year, the Despicable Me franchise became the top-grossing animated film franchise worldwide, with a staggering box-office take of $3.52 billion. But it was the minions that proved most popular, as their spinoff was the biggest earner of all films with a not-so-tiny taking of $1.15 billion.
Balda’s full interview with Dragon+ will appear in Issue 21 in August. Minions 2 is slated for release in July 2020.
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