By Benjamin Wright | The Playlist October 6, 2011 at 1:26AM
While the trailers leading up to the release of Universal's 2010 CGI fest "Despicable Me" felt far more cryptic than they should have for a kid's animated movie featuring historical monuments being stolen by an unknown evil genius, the film turned out to be a surprise hit for the studio that summer and seemingly won over critics with its brand of offbeat humor. Not surprisingly, sequel talks were underway almost immediately with cast members like Steve Carell and Jason Segel set to rejoin, and now "Despicable Me 2" looks to be adding some Oscar-winning prestige to the ensemble.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Anton Chigurh himself will be using a cattle gun to mercilessly slay orphans in the follow-up to the kids film. Okay, not really, but "No Country for Old Men" actor Javier Bardem has been cast as the film's lead villain. Plot details are understandably under wraps for this one, with the original centering around Carell's evil genius character taking a liking to a pair of orphans he was planning to use for his world domination scheme, and we're guessing this one will pick up from the end of the last one directly.
Not much to be critical about with this piece of news, as the original "Despicable Me" was a bit of harmless (but enjoyable) summer fluff, and Bardem is a fine actor. While he's only been in a handful of films since his turn as Chigurh -- including last year's "Biutiful" which landed him his third Oscar nomination -- it looks like the actor is trying to keep his profile up with what will surely be a big budget summer film (especially since his other potential blockbuster "The Dark Tower" fell apart). While we worry he's been typecast as a villain since his Oscar win -- he's set to play a baddie in "James Bond 23" -- perhaps it'll be fun to catch Bardem squaring off against Steve Carell and his fellow orphans.
Universal has set the film for a highly coveted July 3, 2013 release date, and the film's original directing team of Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud will be returning as well. We'd rather be reporting something about Bardem's role in the next Terrence Malick film, but we suppose this will do for now.