Originally announced back in 2014 after the release of Despicable Me 2, Despicable Me 3 has been in the works at Universal and Illumination Entertainment ever since, with a 2017 release date in mind. Seeing as Despicable Me spinoff movie Minions grossed over $1.1 billion worldwide in 2015, it appears safe to say: this franchise has stolen the hearts of children and adults alike.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that South Park co-creator Trey Parker is lending his voice to Despicable Me 3 as the new villain Balthazar Bratt, described as “a former ‘80s child star who has been pissed off at the world ever since he hit puberty and his show was cancelled.” With a thirst to take over the world, it looks as though the third Despicable Me movie will also explore Balthazar’s backstory.

The child version of the antagonist – also known as “Evil Bratt” – was revealed as part of Despicable Me 3 promotional packages sent out to media. The Rock Father were one of the first outlets to show off the youngster, who you can see in the pictures below.

The term “villain” is something that can always be loosely applied to anybody appearing in the Despicable Me franchise. Gru was of course one of the “villains” of the original movie, but went on to become a fan-favorite character when his cold heart melted and he took in orphans Margo, Edith and Agnes. This change in personality could be something that happens again here, with the merchandise creators obviously giving a big push to the Bratt character in the hopes that he’ll also be adored by the millions of those watching.

It’s going to be interesting to see exactly how the movie’s creators bring another fully-fleshed out, multi-dimensional character to the big screen and whether or not they’re up to the challenge. Not allowing him to fall into the same patterns villains in the series have showcased in the past could be a difficult task, but if we look at Universal’s and Illumination’s track record, there’s a reasonable chance that they will deliver the goods.

In saying that, as franchises such as this progress they always risk running out of steam and suffering from viewer fatigue. There’s no doubt that the children of the world will always find a place for the little yellow minions of the franchise (and the people behind the movies know this), but if interest amongst adults begins to fall, the money made from the Minions movie could be the most the company will ever see as a result of a Despicable Me offering.

Despicable Me 3 is set for theatrical release on June 30th, 2017.

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