“Despicable Me 4” Deploys Nikola Jokić in UnbeGruvieable New Campaign

Nikola Jokić arrived for the Denver Nuggets’ Saturday playoff game against the Los Angeles Lakers dressed like a certain sartorially sharp animated character beloved by millions. Jokić is a superstar, and his pre-game arrival for a playoff game is always going to get photographed, so it took very little time for the internet to make the connection between Jokić’s attire and the aforementioned character:

Once the world became aware that the man affectionately called The Joker was dressed exactly like Gru, it was brought up by reporters after his Nuggets beat the Lakers 114-103.“I love the guy, and I love the cartoon,” Jokić told reporters after the game. “Why not?”

Why not, indeed? Especially considering it turned out that it was all part of a new marketing campaign for Despicable Me 4, in which Jokić appears in a new commercial for the film, confiding in a therapist that he’s got a big problem—not only does he apparently dress like Gru, he’s being followed by the Minions who think he’s Gru. It’s a clever 30-second spot, with the Joker displaying some heretofore unknown acting skills.

This isn’t the first time the franchise has come up with a smart new way to go viral. In 2022, teenagers showed up to movie theaters in tuxedos and suits to see Minions: The Rise of Gru, which turned out to be part of a #GentleMinions trend. And it was (apparently) totally organic.

For Despicable Me 4, a slew of superstars have joined the franchise, including Will Ferrell, Sofia Vergara, Stephen Colbert, Chloe Fineman, and Joey King. Ferrell plays one of Gru’s (Steve Carrell) new nemesis, Maxime Le Mal, while Vergara plays his girlfriend, Valentina. Another new addition is newcomer Madison Poland, onboard playing one of Gru’s daughters. Returning stars include Pierre Coffin, Kristen Wiig, Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier, and Steve Coogan.

Thanks to Maxime Le Mal’s shenanigans, Despicable Me 4 will find Gru going on the run. The film is directed by returning helmer Chris Renaud and co-director Patrick Delage, based on a script by Ken Daurio and Mike White.

This marks the sixth film in the installment, which began with 2015’s Minions and has become a box office juggernaut. In fact, the entire franchise is the most successful animated series in history by global ticket sales.

Despicable Me 4 hits theaters on July 3.

For more on Universal Pictures, Peacock, and Focus Features projects, check out these stories:

“Wicked” Star Jonathan Bailey Circling New “Jurassic World” Movie Starring Scarlett Johansson

Dreams Come True: Ryan Gosling Delivers “Papyrus 2” Sequel Sketch on “Saturday Night Live”

Robert Eggers’ “Nosferatu” Sinks Its Teeth Into CinemaCon

Featured image: L-r: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MAY 20: Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets handles the ball against LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the fourth quarter in game three of the Western Conference Finals at Crypto.com Arena on May 20, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images). Featured image: A still image from DESPICABLE ME 4. Courtesy Universal Pictures and Illumination


The Credits

The Credits is an online magazine that tells the story behind the story to celebrate our large and diverse creative community. Focusing on profiles of below-the-line filmmakers, The Credits celebrates the often uncelebrated individuals who are indispensable to the films and TV shows we love.