Meet the new characters (and the voices behind them!) that will make life even more comically chaotic for Gru and his growing family in “Despicable Me 4,” in cinemas July 3

It’s been seven years since the last “Despicable Me” movie hit theaters. What’s everyone’s favorite villain-turned Anti-Villain League (AVL) agent been up to? 

In this latest installment of the beloved franchise, Gru’s (Steve Carell) life is turned upside down with the arrival of his and Lucy’s (Kristen Wiig) new baby, expanding his role to a father of four and a dedicated AVL agent. While on a mission with the fan-favorite minions, Gru comes face to face with the villain Maxime Le Mal and his femme fatale girlfriend Valentina, and the family is forced to go on the run. 

Watch the trailer:

Find out more about Le Mal and Valentina, and the other new characters to watch for in “Despicable Me 4.” 

Maxime Le Mal

Maxime Le Mal, voiced by Emmy winner Will Ferrell (“Anchorman,” “The Lego Movie”), is Gru’s longstanding high school nemesis. After Gru embarrasses Maxime by having him arrested at the class reunion for their shared high school alma mater, Lycee Pas Bon School of Villainy, Maxime’s resentment towards Gru festers into an all-consuming vendetta. After escaping from prison, he pursues Gru and his family, determined to settle the score once and for all.

For Ferrell, the opportunity to go toe-to-toe with Steve Carell’s Gru was too good to pass up. “Who wouldn’t want to be part of the ‘Despicable Me’ universe?” Ferrell says. “I approached Maxime with a mix of suave sophistication and deep-seated insecurity, blending those layers to create a villain you love to hate, but also kinda feel sorry for. It’s a delicate balance, but one that was incredibly fun to explore.”


Valentina, voiced by Emmy nominee Sofía Vergara (“Modern Family”), was the most popular femme fatale at Lycee Pas Bon School of Villainy and is now Maxime’s girlfriend and pilot of his giant ship. “I was drawn to Valentina’s confidence and allure,” Vergara says. “I was excited to play a woman who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it, no matter the obstacles in her path. When I first started to think about the voice, I focused on her fierce determination and confidence, and exploring the character further allowed me to find softer, more vulnerable moments for her, too. Don’t get me wrong, she’s a force to be reckoned with, but there are more nuances of her personality than first meet the eye… It’s a different kind of acting experience, but one that allows for creativity and imagination.”

Poppy Prescott

To protect Gru from the vengeful Le Mal, the AVL relocates Gru and his family to the picturesque town of Mayflower, complete with new identities. Poppy, voiced by Joey King (“Bullet Train,” “The Kissing Booth”), is Gru’s new teenage neighbor who dreams of becoming a supervillain. Poppy is obsessed with all things villainous. After Gru and his family move to Mayflower, Poppy promptly identifies Gru’s true identity and blackmails him into helping her pull a heist at Gru’s alma mater, the Lycee Pas Bon School of Villainy. 

“Recording voice-over for an animated movie is one of my favorite things to do because you have to give everything using just your voice,” King says. “The freedom to let loose and not worry about appearances is what I love most, especially when I get to play such a fun, over-the-top yet endearing character like Poppy. I can really go for it, do some wild stuff and there’s no wrong way to do it. Poppy’s voice differs from mine because I added a cute little lisp to her voice, which is one of my favorite things about the character. I love when kids try to be all serious and make a point with that innocent, childlike voice, and in Poppy’s case, with her lisp. And although it wasn’t really my intention, somehow her lisp makes her come off even scarier.”

Perry Prescott

Perry, voiced by Emmy winner Stephen Colbert (“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”), is Poppy’s father and Gru’s new neighbor. As the face of Prescott Motors, the largest auto dealer in Mayflower, Perry exudes a blend of confidence with a hint of arrogance. “I think Perry is loosely based on every blonde bad guy in every ’80s teen comedy,” Colbert says. “He’s the head of the country club, the captain of the football team, the boss at his office.” Colbert continues, joking: “I based Perry mostly on my own innate sense of self-importance and pretentiousness. I just looked in the mirror every night and said, ‘Just let them see the real you. Just stand in front of that mic and let the real Stephen out.’”

Patsy Prescott

Gru’s new neighbor, Patsy, portrayed by Chloe Fineman (“Saturday Night Live”), is Perry’s wife and Poppy’s mother. When she’s not living the life of a Mayflower socialite, Patsy is working on her tennis backhand. “Playing Patsy was such a delight for me, and I was especially excited to be able to join the iconic ‘Despicable Me’ franchise,” Fineman says. “Patsy’s this wonderful blend of suburban charm and socialite sophistication, which I found incredibly intriguing. What attracted me most to the role was the opportunity to explore Patsy’s dynamic with her husband, Perry, and her role within the neighborhood. She’s not just your typical suburban mom; she’s got this whole other layer to her character that I found fascinating to delve into.”

Mega Minions

While Gru and his family are trying to live a new life with new identities in the beautiful little town of Mayflower, some of the Minions find themselves with new identities of their own back at the Anti-Villain League (AVL) Headquarters. When Silas Ramsbottom (Steve Coogan), the leader of the AVL, selects five Minions to receive a super serum that will help them go head-to-head against Maxime, the result is the world’s newest and most chaotic superheroes: the Mega Minions (all voiced by Pierre Coffin, one of the creators of the Minions and the voice behind all of the Minions in the “Despicable Me” and “Minions” franchises). 

Mega Dave has the power of super strength, Mega Tim can stretch over a mile long, Mega Mel can unleash an unstoppable laser blast capable of slicing through a planet, Mega Gus can take flight and Mega Jerry has assumed the shape and indestructible nature of a boulder, able to chow down on anything in his path.

Says director Chris Renaud, “Their powers were deliberately kept simple and archetypal – strength, flight, lasers, rock-like invincibility and stretching – rooted in classic superhero tropes for instant recognition. We anticipated the delightfully chaotic outcomes of their newfound abilities, but we also crafted a narrative arc that allowed them moments of unexpected heroism.”

Packed with non-stop action and filled with Illumination’s signature subversive humor, Despicable Me 4 opens in Philippine cinemas July 3. #DespicableMe4PH

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Photo credit: Universal Pictures International

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