Illumination Entertainment has revealed the official title for Minions 2, the follow-up to the 2015 prequel to the very popular Despicable Me franchise. The studio has confirmed that the sequel will be called Minions: The Rise of Gru and they've also reaffirmed that the animated flick will debut in theaters next summer. So, like it or not, we've got some more Minion-centric action coming our way. Plan accordingly.

Per an announcement from Universal and Illumination, Minions 2 will hit theaters on July 3, 2020. That puts it right in the middle of the very coveted Fourth of July weekend, which is generally seen as one of the best weeks of the year for movie studios to drop a major tentpole movie. On that date, it will be competing directly with the upcoming Ryan Reynolds action/comedy Free Guy, which recently kicked off production. Even though Reynolds is a big name, this is a franchise that has proved that it can be a massive draw at the box office, and family-friendly movies tend to do very well on holiday weekends. So the release date makes a great deal of sense.

At the present time, little to nothing is known about the sequel. However, the title suggests heavily that Steve Carell's villain from the Despicable Me movies, whom the Minions proudly serve, will be making his return. Presumably, given that it's called "The Rise of Gru," we'll be tracing his rise to supervillain supremacy and how he and the Minions developed their symbiotic relationship with one another. Beyond that, it isn't clear who is in the director's chair or who is penning the script. Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda co-directed the first Minions, working from a screenplay by Brian Lynch. It would stand to reason that the studio would want to try and keep the same creative team in place, if at all possible, given the success they enjoyed the first time around.

The first Minions served as a prequel to the events of the main franchise. It traced the little yellow creatures' evolution from single-celled yellow organisms at the dawn of time up through the various masters they served. Eventually, Kevin, Stuart and Bob make their way to Scarlet Overkill (voiced by Sandra Bullock), who was the world's first-ever super-villainess. Despite the fact that the movie wasn't particularly well liked, as it currently boasts a 56 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it did gangbusters business at the box office, raking in $1.15 billion. Believe it or not, that puts it in the top 20 all-time.

To date, the entire Despicable Me franchise has grossed a total of $3.7 billion worldwide. As such, it's no wonder that Illumination is moving forward with another installment. With an official title in place and the release date locked down, we should be learning more in the coming months. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any pertinent information makes its way online. This news was previously reported by Deadline.

Ryan Scott