Thursday, 13 March 2014

Sony Detail Third Smurfs Film, Hotel Transylvania 2 and New Original Genndy Tartakovsky Film

Sony Pictures Animation have announced some juicy new details about their upcoming slate. Across the next few years, the studio will release a third Smurfs film, a second Hotel Transylvania film, and a brand new, original film from Genndy Tartakovsky (Hotel Transylvania, Samurai Jack), says The Hollywood Reporter!

The Smurfs films have been crapped on by critics (and with good cause), but they keep taking a strong amount at the box-office, and the Sony suits keep ordering more. So lo and behold, a new one (although not The Smurfs 3) will arrive in 2015; 14th August, to be precise.

Kelly Asbury will direct Sony's third Smurfs
The plus side, though, is that it's not a CG/live-action hybrid (there are very few good ones of those), but rather a fully animated film, directed by Kelly Asbury, who co-directed the great Shrek 2 and solo-directed the rather fun Gnomeo & Juliet. Apparently it'll be an origins story.

"I'm really excited about taking the Smurfs in a completely new fresh direction," said Asbury (via /Film). "We’re not making a Smurfs 3 film. 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.” This could actually be good.

Next, Hotel Transylvania 2 - which we've been hearing about since more or less the day the first film came out - is due for release on 25th September, 2015. As it happens, I actually quite enjoyed the first film; but wasn't optimistic about a sequel. Now though, SPA have announced that Genndy Tartakovsky, the TV animation mogul (Dexter's Lab, The PowerPuff Girls, Samurai Jack, Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003)) and director of the first film, will return to helm the sequel. Expect more fun, then.

The director is also prepping an original film, currently called Genndy Tartakovsky's Can You Imagine?, which he's both writing and directing. The film sounds incredibly abstract, incredibly creative, and incredibly exciting; details are few, but it's described as "a fantastic journey through one boy’s imagination." Check out some really cool, vaguely Dr. Seussian, concept art for the film above.

All this while the director is also working on a CG Popeye adaptation for the studio, due some time in 2016 - that TV background seems to be making this hectic juggling act easier on Tartakovsky; "in the world of television, they work on multiple episodes simultaneously while also keeping an eye on an entire season," says Sony Pictures Digital Production president, Bob Osher. "He’s used to, and likes, a high level of workload."

Genndy Tartakovsky is currently directing three films for Sony Pictures Animation.

And he certainly seems content; Tartakovsky said:
"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. This is an exciting time for me and for the studio."

That's actually a very exciting slate. You have our interest, Sony Pictures Animation. 

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