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‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’ no longer coming to theaters in July after coronavirus halts production in France

“Minions: The Rise of Gru” is the sequel to the 2015 film, “Minions,” and spin-off/prequel to the main “Despicable Me” film series.

Universal

“Minions: The Rise of Gru” will not longer be arriving in theaters on July 3.

The NBCUniversal and Illumination film was severely impacted by coronavirus-related restrictions put in place in Paris, and will be unable to finish production in time for its original release.

“In response to the severity of the situation in France, we are temporarily closing our Illumination Mac Guff studio in Paris,” Chris Meledandri, founder and CEO of Illumination, said in a statement Thursday. “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.”

French officials have shuttered shops, restaurants and entertainment facilities, asking its 67 million citizens to stay at home. The closures are aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19, which has become a worldwide pandemic. 

“Minions: The Rise of Gru” is the fifth movie to feature evil genius Gru and his quirky, yellow minions. It was set to take place not long after the end of 2015’s “Minions” and tells the story about 12-year-old Gru as he tries to make a name for himself as a villain.

Gru ends up making an enemy of an elite group of supervillains known as The Vicious 6 after stealing something very precious from them, an amulet.

The film does not currently have a new release date.

In February, toymaker Mattel entered a three-year international licensing agreement with Illumination and Universal Brand Development to produce toys based on the Despicable Me franchise including action figures, dolls, play sets, games and plush toys.

It is unclear how the film’s delay will impact Mattel. The company did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Universal has also had to postpone its release of “F9,” which will now arrive in theaters in 2021. Additionally, the company has opted to release several of its movies in the home market while they are in theaters.

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC.

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