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Despicable Me 2 Beat Sheet

By on July 19, 2013 in Beat Sheets, Whydunit

 

the movie poster

the movie poster

Our thanks to Master Cat! Ben Frahm for this Gru-some beat sheet.

Directors: Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud

Writers: Ken Daurio & Cinco Paul

Genre: WHYDUNIT: DETECTIVE, SECRET, DARK TURN
Sub-Genre: COP WHYDUNIT.

Opening Image:
— Cold. Snowy. And dismal. Some place like Antarctica. Guards watch an army base. And a hovering object appears. To our dismay, the spaceship-like object starts sucking up everything in its path, using a magnetic device…
— CUT TO: The Anti-Villain League headquarters. They know they have a problem on their hands and something must be done. They need a special agent for the job… and not just any special agent… CUT TO:

Set-Up:

Villain-Turned-Family-Man

Villain-Turned-Family-Man

— Meet our hero, GRU (voiced by Steve Carrell). We learn that Gru has given up a life of crime fighting and has retired to suburbia where he is now a father.
— Gru is hosting a birthday party for his KIDS and it doesn’t take long to see that Gru doesn’t fit in.
— All of the other parents are happily married and Gru is very much alone.
— One of the MOTHERS tries to hook Gru up with one of her GIRLFRIENDS; however, Gru is resistant and his lack of confidence with women is apparent.

Theme Stated: occurs when the MOTHER is talking to Gru and trying to hook him up with her friend. She tells Gru that he needs someone special in his life, romantically. But Gru hasn’t grown enough as a character at this point to entertain or even comprehend her advice.
— After the birthday party, Gru is greeted by an unexpected guest…

Catalyst:
— Enter… SPECIAL AGENT LUCY (voiced by Kristen Wiig). She’s come to recruit Gru; however, he tells her he’s no longer fighting crime.
— But Lucy doesn’t take no for an answer.
— Instead, she literally kidnaps Gru and takes him to the secret headquarters of the Anti-Villain League.
— The DIRECTOR of the league informs Gru that there’s a new VILLAIN on the prowl. This Villain has concocted a new serum, PX-41, which once injected, will turn anyone into an evil PURPLE MONSTER. These Monsters will then become brainwashed and will carry out the evil missions of the Villain.
— The Director believes that the Villain is hiding in a mall and that Gru must discover and stop this evil force. So when can you start?

Millions of Minions!

Millions of Minions!

Debate:
— This starts the debate for Gru. Will you take the job and fight crime again?
— Gru refuses. He says that he’s now a father and this is his priority.
— Gru turns down the job and returns to his life as a father.
— Agent Lucy is disappointed to say the least…
— However, the next day, when Gru shows up to his job— a food additive factory run by MINIONS, he meets with his business partner, and fellow scientist, DR. NEFARIO (voiced by Russell Brand). Dr. Nefario tells Gru that he’s tired of this boring life in the factory and that instead, he’s choosing to return to a life of fighting crime.
— Dr. Nefario leaves the factory, and this puts new pressure on Gru to also return to a life of crime fighting.
— In addition to Dr. Nefario’s exit, Gru’s life at home with his kids is also strained. Gru’s kids continue to ask about his dating life… and yearn for a motherly figure in their life.
— Both of these surmounting issues… push Gru into a decision…

Break into Two:
— Gru accepts the Anti-Villain League’s offer to discover the mall serum criminal.

B Story:
— However, when Gru shows up for the undercover job at the mall… he realizes that he’s been assigned the gig with SPECIAL AGENT LUCY!
— In addition to fighting crime and discovering the bad guy and the secret serum in the mall, Lucy and the romantic possibilities between her and Gru, will serve as our B STORY.

Fun and Games:
— Gru and Lucy begin their trials of investigation. Each of them has their own ideas as to who the bad guy might be and where the secret serum might be hidden.
— Gru and Lucy are undercover agents working in a BAKERY.
— And one of the patrons is A MAN WHO LOOKS A LOT LIKE “EL MACHO” (voiced by Benjamin Bratt).
— Gru immediately recognizes this dangerous criminal and tells Lucy that he must be the villain that they’re chasing. Lucy has her doubts but Gru insists that they follow this man who looks like El Macho.
— We learn that “El Macho” runs a Mexican restaurant in the mall and later that night, Gru and Lucy will sneak in to investigate.
— That night, Gru puts his kids to bed and they continue to ask about his dating life and when they will “get a mother.”
— Some of Gru’s MINIONS come over to serve as babysitters and Gru heads out with Lucy to investigate the Mexican restaurant.
— While at the restaurant, Lucy and Gru… discover… NOTHING. Gru must have been wrong… and Lucy says that they need to move on and pursue other suspects in the mall.
— However, back at the house, a few of the MINIONS are captured by a floating device… (just like we saw in the opening of the movie…)
— The next day at the mall, Lucy has a new lead. There’s a mysterious man who runs a HAIR SALON.
— And upon further investigation, it appears that some of the products in the hair salon must be the secret serum! Lucy is right and this must be the culprit!
— Later that day at the mall, Gru’s kids show up and his DAUGHTER develops a crush on a young, suave man, who is the son of El Macho. His name is EDUARDO (also voiced by Benjamin Bratt).
— Gru’s Daughter quickly falls in love and El Macho’s son invites her to a party later in the week.
— Back at the house, Gru is set up on a blind date. The MOTHER from the birthday party, has secretly arranged a date for Gru, and even though he does everything to get out of it… his kids insist that he go.
— Gru’s blind date… is not going so well. Gru has no chemistry with this woman, and when Special Agent Lucy shows up, he gladly leaves the date early to instead hang out with Lucy.
— Gru and Lucy have a romantic date of their own. Their personal relationship is blossoming and now that it appears the crime is solved (with the Hair Salon culprit), Lucy tells Gru that she has feelings for him.

Midpoint:
— The next day, Gru is ecstatic. He’s never felt this way about someone before, and he hopes that his relationship with Lucy will continue to blossom.
— However, when Gru shows up at the mall, he learns that Lucy has been reassigned to a new case in Australia. Lucy will be leaving ASAP and because Gru doesn’t have the confidence to proclaim his love to her, she moves on.
— The case is closed… and everyone is convinced that THE HAIR SALON GUY is the culprit and he is the one creating the secret, evil PURPLE-MONSTER SERUM.

This shark jumps.

This shark jumps.

Bad Guys Close In:
— Lucy leaves for Australia on a new mission.
— Gru is devastated and depressed. He’s missing Lucy.
— However, Gru’s kids convince him to come to a party with them.
— Eduardo, El Macho’s son, is having a big bash at a secret island that his father owns. Eduardo has invited Gru’s daughter and she is intent on going.
— Gru agrees to attend the party with his daughter and El Macho’s son.
— While at the party, Gru discovers new information. Gru stumbles upon a secret lair in the island, which only El Macho knows about. And when Gru sneaks into the secret chamber, he discovers that DR. NEFARIO (who used to work for Gru at the factory) is now working for El Macho.
— And worse yet, Dr. Nefario is the one who has created the secret serum that turns the Minions into PURPLE MONSTERS.
— So El Macho is really the culprit… not the Hair Salon Guy… and Dr. Nefario confesses to his evil deeds.
— Gru knows that he must tell Lucy and they must reopen the case…
— However, when Gru leaves the island to warn Lucy and ask her back…
— He doesn’t realize that Lucy has already returned to the island to look for Gru…

All Is Lost:
— So Gru leaves the island to go warn Lucy…
— And at the same time, Lucy shows up to the island to find Gru and proclaim her love.
— Gru and Lucy miss each other by only seconds.
— And El Macho kidnaps Lucy and holds her hostage on the island until Gru will turn himself in and avert his mission.

Dark Night of the Soul:
— Lucy is held hostage on the island.
— And it’s up to Gru to fix things.
— Gru returns to the factory and learns that more and more MINIONS have gone missing.
— It’s not looking good for Gru at this point and he doesn’t know what to do…
— We fear that Gru is going to give up on the mission…

Break into Three:
— When… Dr. Nefario returns. Gru convinces Dr. Nefario to come back to the “good side” and together they create an antidote that will counteract the effects of the “secret serum.”

Strap yourself in for the thrilling finale!

Strap yourself in for the thrilling finale!

Finale:
— Gru and Dr. Nefario and all of their remaining Minions storm the island of El Macho…
— Gru has the antidote that will turn all of the Minions back to normal (from Purple Monsters)…
— However, when they break through the gates, Gru discovers that Lucy is held captive and strapped to a missile, headed for the middle of the ocean!
— They must act quickly…
— And Dr. Nefario starts to spread the antidote…
— While Gru goes to rescue Lucy…
— But it’s too late… the missile launches… and Gru jumps on to protect Lucy…
— As they fly through the air towards the ocean… Gru finally has the courage to confess his love to Lucy…
— And right at that moment… Lucy… disables the missile… and they are safe…
— CUT TO:

Final Image:
— “147 DATES LATER”
— Gru and Special Agent Lucy are getting married.
— Gru’s kids finally have a mother.
— The Minions have returned to their normal state and are no longer an evil purple.
— And all is well…

FADE OUT. THE END.

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Ben Frahm

About the Author

About the Author: Master Cat! Ben Frahm is a screenwriter who was a member of Blake Snyder’s Writers Group, leads the Save the Cat!® online beat sheet screenwriting workshops and the in-person workshops in New York City, and teaches screenwriting at Ithaca College and Cornell University. Ben sold “Dr. Sensitive” to Universal, consulted on How to Train Your Dragon and has 2 produced credits in 2016: co-writer of the feature The Discreet Pleasures of Rejection for Warner Bros International and co-writer of the TV series (Des)encontros (or Mismatched) for Sony TV International. “If this is your first time selling a script, take some advice from Ben Frahm. Ben has a true gift for concept.” –– Blake Snyder, Save the Cat!® Strikes Back – More Trouble for Writers to Get Into… and Out Of .

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  1. Cory Milles says:

    Fantastic job, Ben! I just saw this movie this past weekend, and as I mapped it out in my mind, it fit your Beat Sheet exactly! It was easy to identify the Midpoint, the “false victory” with Lucy, and I knew immediately that the Bad Guys would close in, both externally and internally. It was funny how this beat was captured, even in the color tones of the animation. Well done! Of course, while I enjoyed seeing the movie and reflecting on its structure, my kids just wanted to walk around mimicking the minions!

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