Sony Pictures Animation detailed the studio’s upcoming slate for the next few years, including a new animated “Spider-Man” project. The announcement detailed a wide-array of titles, all of which will debut in theaters through 2020. Kristine Belson, President of Sony Pictures Animation, says, “We are proud of the artist-driven titles we have coming to the marketplace. The abundance, variety and quality of the features are a testament to the wealth of creative talents who call Sony Pictures Animation their home.”
The next Smurf will be called, “Smurfs: The Lost Village,” and it will release this April. The voice cast will include Michelle Rodriguez (SmurfStorm), Ellie Kemper (SmurfBlossom), Ariel Winter (SmurfLily) and Julia Roberts (SmurfWillow). These Smurfs will appear in the Lost Village. Special voice cameos to include: Gordon Ramsay (Baker), Gabriel Iglesias (Jokey), Tituss Burgess (Vanity), Jeff Dunham (Farmer), Jake Johnson (Grouchy), and director Kelly Asbury (Nosey). Previously announced voice cast includes Demi Lovato (Smurfette), Rainn Wilson (Gargamel), Joe Manganiello (Hefty), Jack McBrayer (Clumsy), Danny Pudi (Brainy), and Mandy Patinkin (Papa).
The feature is directed by Kelly Asbury (SHREK 2), produced by Jordan Kerner (CHARLOTTE’S WEB) and Mary Ellen Bauder Andrews (HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA), and written by Stacey Harman and Pamela Ribon, based on the characters and works of Peyo. Digital animation by Sony Pictures Imageworks.
In this fully animated, all-new take on the Smurfs, a mysterious map sets Smurfette and her best friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on an exciting and thrilling race through the Forbidden Forest filled with magical creatures to find a mysterious lost village before the evil wizard Gargamel does.
The new “Emoji Movie” will get a summer release, hitting theaters in August. The new voice-cast announced today includes: Jennifer Coolidge (Gene’s mother, Mary Meh), Maya Rudolph (Smiler), Jake T. Austin (Alex), and Sir Patrick Stewart (Poop). The previously announced voice cast includes T.J. Miller (Gene), James Corden (Hi-5), Ilana Glazer (Jailbreak) and Steven Wright (Gene’s father, Mel Meh).
The feature is directed by Tony Leondis, produced by Michelle Raimo Kouyate, and written by Tony Leondis & Eric Siegel and Mike White. Digital animation by Sony Pictures Imageworks. The movie takes place in a smartphone, in the city of Textopolis. Here the emojis live, hoping to be selected by the phone’s user. In this world, each emoji has only one facial expression – except for Gene, an exuberant emoji who was born without a filter and is bursting with multiple expressions. Determined to become “normal” like the other emojis, Gene enlists the help of his handy best friend Hi-5 and the notorious code breaker emoji Jailbreak. Together, they embark on an epic “app-venture” through the apps on the phone, each its own wild and fun world, to find the Code that will fix Gene.
One of the newer projects is “The Star,” releasing in November. The voice cast will be led by Steven Yeun (Bo the donkey), Kelly Clarkson (Leah the horse), Aidy Bryant (Ruth the sheep), Keegan-Michael Key (Dave the dove), Kristin Chenoweth (Mouse), Anthony Anderson (Zach the goat), Gabriel Iglesias (Rufus the dog), Ving Rhames (Thaddeus the dog), Delilah Rene (Elizabeth), Kris Kristofferson (Old Donkey), Gina Rodriguez (Mary), Zachary Levi (Joseph), with Oprah Winfrey (Deborah), Tyler Perry (Cyrus) and Tracy Morgan (Felix) as the three camels, and Christopher Plummer (King Herod).
“The Star” is directed by Academy Award nominated writer/director Timothy Reckart (HEAD OVER HEELS); executive-produced by DeVon Franklin (MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN), Lisa Henson and Brian Henson (The Jim Henson Company); produced by Jenni Magee Cook; with a story by Carlos Kotkin and Simon Moore; and screenplay by Carlos Kotkin. Digital animation by Cinesite Studios.
A small but brave donkey named Bo yearns for a life beyond his daily grind at the village mill. One day he finds the courage to break free, and finally goes on the adventure of his dreams. On his journey, he teams up with Ruth, a lovable sheep who has lost her flock and Dave, a dove with lofty aspirations. Along with three wisecracking camels and some eccentric stable animals, Bo and his new friends follow the Star and become accidental heroes in the greatest story ever told – the first Christmas.
One of Sony’s most successful franchises is “Hotel Transylvania,” which will release a third-installment in September. In the film Mavis surprises Dracula with a family voyage on a luxury Monster Cruise Ship so he can take a vacation from providing everyone else’s vacation at the hotel. The rest of Drac’s Pack cannot resist going along and once they leave port, romance zings Drac when he meets the mysterious ship captain Ericka.
Now it’s Mavis’ turn to play the overprotective parent, keeping her dad and Ericka apart. Little do they know that his “too good to be true” love interest is actually a descendent of Van Helsing, arch nemesis to Dracula and all monsters! The voice ensemble of favorites returns, including Adam Sandler (Dracula), Selena Gomez (Mavis) and Andy Samberg (Johnny).
Director Genndy Tartakovsky (SAMURAI JACK, STAR WARS: CLONE WARS) is back in the director’s chair, along with Michelle Murdocca back producing and Adam Sandler executive-producing, with a screenplay by Genndy Tartakovsky and Michael McCullers (AUSTIN POWERS: THE SPY WHO SHAGGED ME). In addition to this feature film, a new animated short, PUPPY, directed by HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA’s Genndy Tartakovsky, will be debuting in theaters attached to THE EMOJI MOVIE in August 2017. In the short, the residents of Hotel Transylvania find their world turned upside-down when youngster Dennis gets a surprise monster-sized pet!
The biggest news was the untitled “Spider-Man” fan, which will be animated and releasing in December 2018. The film will come from Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, the same team behind “The Lego Movie,” and as we said before will star Miles Morales. The feature is directed by Bob Persichetti (head of story on PUSS IN BOOTS and THE LITTLE PRINCE) and Peter Ramsey (RISE OF THE GUARDIANS).
The film is written by Phil Lord, and Avi Arad (IRON MAN, SPIDER-MAN), Amy Pascal (SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING), Phil Lord & Christopher Miller (Untitled HAN SOLO Movie) are executive producing; Christina Steinberg (TROLLHUNTERS) is producing.
“VIVO” will also get a December release, but this one is scheduled for 2020. Lin-Manuel Miranda, the award-winning (Emmy, Tony, Grammy, Olivier, Pulitzer Prize and MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient) creative force behind the groundbreaking Broadway musical HAMILTON, writes new songs for this musical animated feature. Academy Award nominated director Kirk De Micco (THE CROODS) is set to helm a script by Pulitzer Prize winner Quiara Alegría Hudes (IN THE HEIGHTS). Academy Award nominated producer Laurence Mark (DREAMGIRLS, JULIE & JULIA) serves as executive producer, and Lisa Stewart (ALMOST FAMOUS) produces.
Sony will release further casting announcements and trailers for these projects as they move into production.