Neil Patrick Harris will star in Sony’s big screen adaptation of The Smurfs, says Deadline Hollywood. He won’t be voicing one of the Smurfs though as the project is a mix of live-action and animation. Harris will play the lead live-action character.
The site says that filming begins in April, when Harris will be on hiatus from CBS’ “How I Met Your Mother.” The Raja Gosnell-directed film is scheduled for a July 29, 2011 release.
“The Smurfs” were created in 1958 by Belgian cartoonist Pierre Culliford, known throughout the world as Peyo. “The Smurfs,” originally called “Les Schtroumpfs” in French, were created for a Belgian series of comic books, first as minor characters. The villagers, known for their blue skin and small statures, spawned a line of statuettes, games, toys, theme parks and a hit TV series, which ran as part of NBC’s Saturday-morning lineup from 1981-90.