You might think that animated projects on the big and small screens would be better able to weather the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting quarantines, but that’s not exactly the case. Co-creator of Big City Greens Shane Houghton recently Tweeted out a behind-the-scenes look at how they’re trying to keep production on the Disney series going while all of their artists and staff are at home. That’s hard enough, but now take an animated production pipeline to the max with a big-screen sequel installment in a franchise worth billions, and you begin to see how easily the wheels can come off.
That’s apparently what’s happened with Universal and Illumination Entertainment’s Minions: The Rise of Gru. As THR reports, the Minions sequel, which was originally set for a July 3rd release date in the U.S. after a late-June launch in international territories, is now TBD for a theatrical release. And no, it’s not because they expect movie theaters to remain closed that far into the summer (though they may well be), it’s got more to do with quarantine restrictions impacting their post-production process.
Here’s what Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri had to say in a statement:
“In response to the severity of the situation in France, we are temporarily closing our Illumination Mac Guff studio in Paris. With this decision, we are abiding by the French Government’s guidelines and doing everything possible to slow the spread of the virus as we care for our artists and their families. This means we will be unable to finish Missions: The Rise of Gru in time for our planned global releases in late June and early July. While we all grapple with the enormity of this crisis, we must put the safety and protection of our employees above all. We look forward to finding a new release date for the return of Gru and the Minions.”
Stay tuned for more as we hear it.