Sony Pictures Animation reveals new details on a number of exciting big screen projects
The Sony Pictures Animation campus in Culver City, California was host today to a special look ahead at what the studio has on the horizon. Read on for a film-by-film breakdown of projects like The Smurfs: The Lost Village, The Emoji Movie, The Star, Hotel Transylvania 3, the still-untitled animated Spider-Man film and Vivo, an original musical from Lin-Manuel Miranda.
“We are proud of the artist-driven titles we have coming to the marketplace,” said Kristine Belson, President of Sony Pictures Animation. “The abundance, variety and quality of the features are a testament to the wealth of creative talents who call Sony Pictures Animation their home.”
SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE (April 7, 2017)
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. Embarking on a rollercoaster journey full of action and danger, the Smurfs are on a course that leads to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history!
Newly-announced voice cast for Smurfs includes Michelle Rodriguez, Ellie Kemper, Ariel Winter and Julia Roberts as SmurfStorm, SmurfBlossom, SmurfLily and SmurfWillow, respectively. Each represents a member of the titular Lost Village, comprised of female Smurfs. It was also revealed that voice cameos will include Gordon Ramsay as Baker, Gabriel Iglesias as Jokey, Tituss Burgess as Vanity, Jeff Dunham as Farmer, Jake Johnson as Grouchy, and director Kelly Asbury himself as Nosey.
The Lost Village 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 hails from Sony Pictures Imageworks.
THE EMOJI MOVIE (August 4, 2017)
Sony Pictures Animation’s The Emoji Movie unlocks the never-before-seen secret world inside your smartphone. Hidden within the messaging app is Textopolis, a bustling city where all your favorite 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. But when a greater danger threatens the phone, the fate of all emojis depends on these three unlikely friends who must save their world before it’s deleted forever.
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 and Eric Siegel and Mike White. Digital animation by Sony Pictures Imageworks.
THE STAR (November 10, 2017)
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.
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.
You can view Bo and Ruth in the photo below!
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3 (September 21, 2018)
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: The 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 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!
UNTITLED ANIMATED SPIDER-MAN (December 21, 2018)
From Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, the geniuses behind The LEGO Movie, comes an animated Spider-Man feature starring Miles Morales.
Lord and Miller introduced a brief Spider-Man tease that showed off some concept art and a graffiti-styled red and blue spider logo. While Morales is under the mask, the Spidey costume appeared from the footage to be more in line with the classic blue and red design. We also saw some shots of Spidey chasing Prowler and a massive Green Goblin statue. Although the animation was far from finished, it appears that film will employ a unique style that combines classic comic book illustrations with CGI. During the action sequences, frames flash from CGI to having textures straight out of a comic book.
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. Avi Arad (Iron Man, Spider-Man), Amy Pascal (Spider-Man: Homecoming), Phil Lord & Christopher Miller are executive producing; Christina Steinberg (Trollhunters) is producing.
VIVO (December 18, 2020)
Although it’s still a few years away, the Sony Pictures Animation presentation concluded with a logo tease for Vivo. 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.
(Photo Credit: Michael Boardman / WENN.com)