Sony Pictures Animation today revealed updates to their upcoming projects line-up, which includes a new Genndy Tartakovsky original, the animated feature debut of Popeye and the continued expansion of hit franchise The Smurfs and Hotel Transylvania.
The Untitled Smurfs Movie, slated for August 2015, will be directed by toon industry vet Kelly Asbury (Shrek 2, Gnomeo & Juliet) and will put a new spin on the popular characters with a completely CG feature.
“I’m really excited about taking the Smurfs in a completely new, fresh direction. We’re not making a Smurfs 3 film,” says Asbury. “Our character designs and environments will be stylistically closer to the original artwork created by Peyo. Our story will explore the beginnings of the beloved little blue creatures in a fun, full CG animated comedy-adventure for every generation to enjoy.”
Jordan Kerner (The Smurfs) is production with Mary Ellen Bauder (Hotel Transylvania) co-producing.
Animation legend Genndy Tartakovsky will return to the director’s chair for Hotel Transylvania 2 (September 2015). The sequel will bring back Adam Sandler as undead hotelier Dracula — Sandler will also work on the story with Robert Smigel. The prolific Tartakovsky is also busy working on the new CG take on comicstrip icon Popeye, while developing an original concept titled Can You Imagine? which is described as “a fantastic journey through one boy’s imagination.” Producer Michelle Murdocca will once again be the director’s right hand.
“It’s good to be back at the Hotel Transylvania, and I’m very excited to work on Popeye, a character that I’ve loved since I was a kid. I’m also looking forward to developing an entirely new and original animated feature here at Sony Pictures Animation,” says the 13-time Emmy nominee Tartakovsky. “This is an exciting time for me and the studio.”