Sony Pictures Animation has laid out its project release slate through 2018, signalling an expansion of its production output with a lineup that includes five theatrical features, three TV series and one direct-to-video movie. Include in the diverse slate of original stories and popular franchises are Emojimovie, Hotel Transylvania 3, faith-based film The Star, animated Spider-Man and a new Ghostbusters series.
“We are meaningfully stepping up our level of production, while creating an environment that fosters the best talent,” says SPA President Kristine Belson. “Our goal is to enlarge our presence in the animation landscape with a uniquely diverse slate, and our strategy to get there is to let artists drive the movies creatively.”
Senior Vice Presidents of Development Michael Lachance (Emojimovie: Express Yourself, Ghostbusters: Ecto Force), Jenny Marchick (The Star, Hotel Transylvania 3) and Mike Moon (untitled animated Spider-Man) are in charge of creatively spearheading the Sony Pictures Animation slate.
SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE
April 7, 2017
A fully-animated comedy that delivers a fresh new take on the famous blue creatures and marks a return to the tone and style of the beloved comic book creations of Peyo. The feature is directed by Kelly Asbury (Shrek 2, Gnomeo & Juliet), produced by Jordan Kerner (The Smurfs 1 & 2, Charlotte’s Web), co-produced by Mary Ellen Bauder Andrews (Hotel Transylvania ) and written by Stacey Harman and Pamela Ribon, based on the characters and works of Peyo. The voice cast includes Demi Lovato as Smurfette, Jack McBrayer as Clumsy, Joe Manganiello as Hefty, Danny Pudi as Brainy, and Rainn Wilson as Gargamel, with Mandy Patinkin as Papa.
EMOJIMOVIE: EXPRESS YOURSELF
A surprising and comic take on the secret world of our phones and the beloved characters that have become daily necessities in global interpersonal communication. Directed by Anthony Leondis, produced by Michelle Raimo Kouyate, and written by Anthony Leondis & Eric Siegel.
THE STAR (working title)
December 8, 2017
The computer-animated feature is directed by Oscar nominee Timothy Reckart (Head over Heels); executive produced by DeVon Franklin, Lisa Henson, and Brian Henson; co-produced by Jenni Magee Cook; and written by Carlos Kotkin and Simon Moore. In The Star, a small but brave donkey and his animal friends become the unsung heroes of the greatest story ever told, the first Christmas. Sony Pictures Animation produces in association with The Jim Henson Company.
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3
September 21, 2018
The follow-up to Sony Pictures Animation’s highest grossing film in the U.S. and the biggest opening ever for a domestic September release —is on its way. Director Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter’s Laboratory, Star Wars: The Clone Wars), who returns to helm this brand new adventure, says, “I thought I was done exploring the world of Hotel Transylvania after the first two films, but while I was away from the franchise finishing my TV show Samurai Jack, an idea sparked that I got really excited about and made it irresistible to return and helm myself this third adventure.” Michelle Murdocca is back producing, with Adam Sandler executive producing, and Michael McCullers (Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Boss Baby) writing the screenplay. Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez and Andy Samberg will be returning as the voices of Dracula, his vampire daughter Mavis, and her human husband Johnny.
December 21, 2018
From Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, the geniuses behind The LEGO Movie, comes an animated Spider-Man feature. The film is being written by Phil Lord. Avi Arad, Amy Pascal, Phil Lord & Christopher Miller are producing; Craig Sost is co-producing. Bob Persichetti (head of story on Puss in Boots and The Little Prince) is directing.
GHOSTBUSTERS: ECTO FORCE
The series will further expand the Ghostbusters cinematic universe and focus on a new generation of Ghostbusters in the year 2050 who capture ghosts around the world with help from local teams—and some very cool gear! The younger-skewing Sony Pictures Animation project is being creatively spearheaded by Ivan Reitman and his production company Ghost Corps.
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA: THE TELEVISION SERIES
The animated television series, produced in partnership with Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana, will focus on the teenage years of Mavis, Dracula’s daughter, and her friends. It will be airing on the Disney Channel worldwide.
CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS
The 2D animated small-screen series, produced in partnership with DHX Media and commissioned by TELETOON in Canada, will expand on the adventures of the computer-animated feature films and will air on Cartoon Network in the U.S. and Turner channels across EMEA, APAC and Latin American markets.
SURF’S UP 2: WAVEMANIA
Directed by Henry Yu and produced by Michelle Wong, the follow-up to the 2007 Oscar nominee will hit the shores in time for the 10-year anniversary of the franchise. The project is in partnership with WWE Studios and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The voice cast includes WWE Superstars John Cena, The Undertaker, Triple H, Diva Paige and Mr. McMahon as an infamous big wave riding crew of penguins known as The Hang 5 which Cody Maverick convinces to let him join on their journey to a mysterious surf spot where legend has it they’ll find the biggest waves in the world.