The following contains spoilers for Despicable Me 4, now playing in theaters


Summary

  • Dru has a brief cameo in Despicable Me 4’s ending.
  • Dru’s absence helps isolate Gru’s family and highlight the film’s threat from Maxime.
  • Dru’s role could be explored further in future Despicable Me or Minions movies.


Despicable Me 4 brings back plenty of familar faces for fans of the franchise, but Dru’s abscene from the marketing of the film has audiences wondering if they’ll see Gru’s brother in the film. Played by Steve Carrell (who also stars in the series as Gru), Dru is the long-lost twin brother of Gru who was introduced in the prior mainline film in the series, Despicable Me 3. However, the series shifted gears back to the Minions spin-off films, and never followed through on Dru’s potential full impact on the franchise.

Despicable Me 4‘s ending pits Gru and his family against a new villain in the form of Will Ferrell’s ruthless Maxime Le Mal, keeping the focus on Gru and a handful of new characters. Many of the advertisements of the film have focused on new additions to the series like the Mega Minions, leaving fans wondering if a reunion between Gru and his brother was being kept under wraps. Here’s how Dru factors into the cast of Despicable Me 4, and what it means for his role in the franchise’s future.


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Dru Has A Quick Cameo In Despicable Me 4’s Ending

Dru Only Shows Up Towards The End Of Despicable Me 4

Gru and Dru in Depsicable Me 3

Dru played an important role in Despicable Me 3 but doesn’t appear in Despicable Me 4 outside of a brief cameo in the film’s ending. Dru was introduced in Despicable Me 3 as Gru’s long-lost brother. Much of that film’s emotional core was driven by his desire to be a true villain like his brother and their deceased father, which complicates Gru’s attempts to leave behind his life of villainy. Their connection was one of the big emotional cores of Despicable Me 3, and that film’s ending set up a friendly game of cat and mouse between the brothers.


Although Despicable Me 4 delves more into the world of villains within the Despicable Me franchise, there’s very little mention of Dru. Instead, the film introduces new unrelated corners of that world, both from the past (like Will Ferrell’s villain Maxime or his Gru’s former principal Übelschlecht) and the present (like Poppy, a preteen with ambitions of becoming a villain herself). Dru doesn’t appear until the end of the film, where he appears during a sequence that shows Gru having a party with his loved ones after defeating Maxime.

Why Dru’s Role In Despicable Me 4 Is So Small

Despicable Me 4 Explains Why Gru Can’t Call Dru For Help


Dru isn’t the only supporting character from the Despicable Me franchise who doesn’t really appear in the latest entry. Dr. Nefario and Marlena Gru similarly appear briefly as cameos at the end of the film. These abscenes are given an in-universe, explanation, however. After Gru helps capture Maxime early in the film, the villain vows vengeance against him and his entire family. This forces Gru and the rest of his immediate family to go into hiding. It’s specifically mentioned they can’t speak with any family members, like Gru’s mother or brother.


This explanation works within the story itself, but it’s also probably a good thing on a storytelling level that Dru is absent from Despicable Me 4. The film’s biggest problem is a deluge of concepts that rarely get developed fully or earn genuine closure. The disjointed nature of Despicable Me 4 would have only been made worse by Dru, who could have unnecessarily complicated the already scattered plot. Instead, Dru’s absence is used to help further isolate the family and highlight the danger they’re in. It’s a clever little trick that also removes Dru from the narrative.

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Will Dru Return In A Future Despicable Me Or Minions Movie?

Dru Could Easily Return For A Future Film

Dru leaving in the ship with the Minions in Despicable Me 3's ending


Dru presents a fun opportunity for the producers of Despicable Me, as he’s a fun wildcard that could be deployed into several different places. Dru and Gru’s connection could easily be explored further, especially if the former were able to truly excel as a villain. It could create a fun dynamic, forcing Gru to fully abandon the life of villainy that he briefly revisits in Despicable Me 4 alongside Poppy. Dru could also play an important role in a potential Minions spin-off, pitting the little yellow creatures alongside (or even against) a peppy version of their boss.

There is currently no Despicable Me 5 or Minions 3 confirmed to be in production. However, given that Despicable Me is the highest-grossing animated franchise in cinematic history, it likely won’t be long before the future of the series begins to take shape. Dru remains a fun tool that the series can pull out in future entries, especially after the character was more or less removed from Despicable Me 3. Gru’s return could even cement a more streamlined approach to a prospective Despicable Me 4 sequel.


Despicable Me 4 Poster showing Gru with his son and a Minon holding a gun

Despicable Me 4

The infamous (and kind-hearted) not-super villain Gru returns in Despicable Me 4, the fourth entry in the long-running movie series from Illumination Entertainment. The fourth film also sees the return of Gru’s wife, Lucy, portrayed again by Kristin Wiig, and introduces their son.

Director
Chris Renaud , Patrick Delage

Writers
Mike White , Ken Daurio

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