Smurfs to Make It Big at Sony

Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation have secured the rights to The Smurfs and plan to make a feature film version of the popular blue villagers that mixes live action and animation.

Variety reports the film will be produced by Jordan Kerner, who helped the studio secure the rights from Lafig Belgium, with Shrek 2 and Shrek the Third writers J. David Stem and David N. Weiss on board to write the script.

The Smurfs were created in 1958 as comic book characters by Belgian cartoonist Pierre “Peyo” Culliford, but are best known in America as the stars of the hit Hanna-Barbera animated series that ran on NBC from 1981 to 1990. Kerner was reportedly producing a complete CG-animated feature about the blue guys at Paramount/Nickelodeon, but the movie has now found a new home. The previous incarnation of the feature was rumored to have John Lithgow and Julia Sweeney attached as voice talent.