Last week, Sony Pictures announced its plans to move forward with a sequel to their successful CGI/live action hybrid The Smurfs. Now, The Hollywood Reporter reveals that some substantial progress has already been made and that a preemptive sequel screenplay was already drafted in the spring.
David Stern and David Weiss, both of whom worked on the initial film, have provided the first draft for Smurfs 2, working alongside Jay Scherick and David Ronn. Further work will no doubt be required, but Sony has a solid leg up on the announced release date of August 2, 2013.
Not to be outdone, 20th Century Fox has slated its own family-friendly franchise sequel for a full year earlier. Variety reports that Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days will hit theaters on August 3, 2012 with David Bowers (Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Roderick Rules) again directing. The full cast is expected to return for the production, which is already underway in Vancouver.