November 13, 2008

Universal Pictures Announces All-Star Voice Talent for Inaugural 3-D Cgi Feature Despicable Me From Illumination Entertainment

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., Nov. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Universal Pictures announced today principal voice talent for its inaugural 3-D CGI feature, "Despicable Me," the studio's first film from billion-dollar animation producer Chris Meledandri ("Ice Age" franchise, "Robots,""Horton Hears a Who!"). Meledandri will produce through his new Universal Pictures-based family-entertainment shingle, Illumination Entertainment, which has a multi-picture deal to deliver live-action and animated all-audience films for the Universal slate.


Lending their voices to the project is an accomplished cast of actors that includes: Steve Carell ("Horton Hears a Who!,""Get Smart,""The Office,""The 40-Year-Old Virgin"); Jason Segel ("Forgetting Sarah Marshall,""Knocked Up,""How I Met Your Mother"); Kristen Wiig ("Saturday Night Live,""Ghost Town"); Will Arnett ("Horton Hears a Who!,""Arrested Development,""Ratatouille,""Blades of Glory"); Russell Brand ("Forgetting Sarah Marshall," upcoming "Bedtime Stories"); Jemaine Clement ("The Flight of the Conchords"); Jack McBrayer ("Forgetting Sarah Marshall,""30 Rock"); and Julie Andrews ("Shrek" series, "The Princess Diaries" series).

"Everybody has a wicked side, whether they are six or sixty, and yet so often storytelling draws a sharp line between good and evil," says Meledandri. "After years of taking my sons to the movies and having them leave the theatre with the villain as their favorite character, we decided to make a movie where the villain is the protagonist."

Directed by Chris Renaud & Pierre Coffin ("Gary's Fall") and written by Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio ("Horton Hears a Who!"), "Despicable Me" is produced by Meledandri, John Cohen and Janet Healy.

"Chris has an unerring track record of producing top notch animated family films with attitude, wit and style, and we are excited to announce his first project for our studio from Universal's co-venture with him, Illumination Entertainment," said Co-Chairman of Universal Pictures David Linde. "'Despicable Me' will introduce a memorable, hilarious cast of characters brought to life by Chris' imagination, his animators' talents and this incredibly gifted voice cast. We are certain that a new classic is being created."

Universal Pictures is building its family and animation film business with the creation of Chris Meledandri's new production company, Illumination Entertainment, the studio's key supplier of all-audience family fare. Universal will finance and distribute an upcoming slate of films from the new entity headed by successful animation veteran Meledandri, who has longstanding relationships with filmmakers and talent based on such previous triumphs as "Ice Age,""Robots" and "Horton Hears a Who!" Universal will begin distributing films from Illumination in 2010, the first of which is "Despicable Me."

About Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures is a division of Universal Studios ( Universal Studios is part of NBC Universal. NBC Universal is one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80% owned by General Electric and 20% owned by Vivendi.

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Universal Pictures

CONTACT: Michael Moses, +1-818-777-5926, [email protected], forUniversal Pictures