No matter how fast you are, no one outruns their past, but Universal Pictures is aiming to outrun the pandemic by delaying its tentpoles F9 and Minions: The Rise of Gru once again, though not all delays are created equal.
F9 will move back just one month, from May 28 to June 25, 2021, but unfortunately, Illumination‘s Minions sequel has been pushed back an entire year, from July 2, 2021 to July 1, 2022, which Universal had already reserved for an untitled Illumination film.
In F9, Vin Diesel’s Dom Toretto is leading a quiet life off the grid with Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and his son, little Brian, but they know that danger always lurks just around the corner. This time, that threat will force Dom to confront the sins of his past if he’s going to save those he loves most. His crew comes together once again to stop a world-shattering plot led by the most skilled assassin and high-performance driver they’ve ever encountered — a man named Jakob (John Cena), who also happens to be Dom’s forsaken brother.
F9 sees Justin Lin returning to direct after helming the third, fourth, fifth and sixth entries of the Fast and Furious series, when the franchise truly transformed into a global blockbuster that has earned more than $5 billion worldwide. This time around, the action hurtles around the globe — from London to Tokyo, from Central America to Edinburgh, and from a secret bunker in Azerbaijan to the teeming streets of Tbilisi. Along the way, old friends will be resurrected, familiar foes will return, history will be rewritten, and the true meaning of family will be tested like never before.
Oscar winners Charlize Theron and Helen Mirren are back for the new installment, as are fan favorites Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Jordana Brewster, Nathalie Emmanuel and Sung Kang. F9 also features Cardi B as Leysa, a new franchise character with a connection to Dom’s past, as well as a cameo by Reggaeton sensation Ozuna.
Diesel and Lin produced F9 with Neal H. Moritz, Jeff Kirschenbaum, Joe Roth, Clayton Townsend and Samantha Vincent.
As for Minions: The Rise of Gru, the sequel is said to explore the origin story of young Gru and his Minions, giving us a first-hand look at how they became the world’s most despicable team.
Steve Carell reprises his role as Gru alongside Oscar winners Alan Arkin and Julie Andrews, and the rest of the cast includes Russell Brand, Taraji P. Henson, Michelle Yeoh, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Lucy Lawless, Dolph Lundgren and Danny Trejo.
Illumination founder/CEO Chris Meledandri produced The Rise of Gru with his longtime collaborators Janet Healy and Chris Renaud. The film is directed by returning franchise filmmaker Kyle Balda (Despicable Me 3, Minions), and co-directed by Brad Ableson (The Simpsons) and Jonathan del Val (The Secret Life of Pets films), and features the voice of Pierre Coffin as the Minions, as well as a killer ʼ70s soundtrack courtesy of Grammy-winning music producer Jack Antonoff.
Despicable Me/Minions is the most successful animated franchise of all time, and Universal likely wants parents to feel 100 percent comfortable about bringing their children back to theaters, which is why another year-long delay makes sense.