Illumination Entertainment, an animation studio partially owned by Universal and the creator of the Despicable Me franchise, already has two movies scheduled for 2017. The first, Despicable Me 3, will arrive in theaters on June 30 and the second, an adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, will release on November 17. Illumination is also planning a spinoff movie of Despicable Me entitled Minions scheduled for July 10, 2015 and an untitled project for 2016.
Illumination’s CEO, Chris Meledandri, produced the first two Despicable Me movies, both of which were beloved by audiences. Despicable Me 2 brought in over $900 million worldwide. Given the massive success of the franchise, it is hardly surprising that we will see both a three-quel and a spin-off.
Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas was most famously adapted into a 30 minute TV special in 1966 by Chuck Jones. Meledandri has produced two adaptations of Seuss’ work, Horton Hears a Who (2008), from Blue Sky Studios and Fox, and The Lorax (2012). Additionally, Meledandri will produce Illumination’s upcoming adaptation of The Cat in the Hat. Both Horton and Lorax found financial success, though The Lorax left critics divided. Meledandri’s track record with Seuss may not inspire confidence in audiences who still remember the live action adaptations that both The Grinch and The Cat in the Hat received in the 2000’s.