Puss in Boots and Shrek the Third director Chris Miller has been tapped to direct an upcoming cg-animated musical Smurfs film for Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Animation, scheduled to hit theaters on December 20, 2024.
Here is what we know so far:
- An official announcement of Miller’s appointment will be made at the Annecy Festival on Thursday by Ramsey Naito, Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Animation president of animation and development.
- No news yet on who will be handling animation for the upcoming production, but Sony Pictures Imageworks held that responsibility on the recent cg hybrids, as well as the fully-cg Smurfs: The Lost Village produced by Sony Pictures Animation.
- Miller helms the feature, which was written by South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut and Team America: World Police scribe and Mr. Wong co-creator Pam Brady. We’re guessing it will mark something of a departure from Brady’s adult-oriented outings and be more family-friendly.
- Latifa Ouaou, executive VP of movies and global franchises for Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Animation, is overseeing development of the film alongside Emily Nordwind, senior VP of development and production for Paramount Animation.
- For the new feature, Paramount and Nickelodeon are partnering with LAFIG Belgium and IMPS, worldwide licensors of The Smurfs franchise. The Smurfs were created by Belgian artist Pierre Culliford, better known as Peyo. The characters most recently appeared in a new cg animated series, which airs on Nickelodeon in the U.S.
- The Smurfs made their commercial debut in 1958 and have appeared in five films since. The three most recent films were released by Sony — two hybrid, one fully animated — and together grossed over $1.1 billion worldwide.
- The new Smurfs film is scheduled to hit theaters December 20, 2024. Paramount Animation’s upcoming animation slate also includes Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank (July 14, 2022), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Animated (August 4, 2023), Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie (October 13, 2023), The Tiger’s Apprentice (December 20, 2023), and Untitled Transformers Animation (July 19, 2024).
- In a statement released today, Naito said: “We’re thrilled to have such a talented group of people bringing audiences this latest rendition of the beloved Smurfs universe, including the incredible Chris Miller, director of Shrek the Third and Puss in Boots; and writer Pam Brady of Team America: World Police and South Park. We can’t wait for fans everywhere to see this Smurftastic film.”