Ah, Smurfs. They're the little blue people who inadvertently gave children a new way to curse in front of their parents without getting into trouble. "Oh, smurf you!" "Yeah? Well, you're a smurfy smurfhole!" Now comes news from Variety that they're packing up their tiny suitcases and heading for Hollywood to star in a new big screen movie.
This won't be the first time the trousers-only Smurfs have cavorted in a movie. Originally a creation of cartoonist Pierre Culliford, they had their debut on the Belgian silver screen in 1965 with Les Aventures des Schtroumpfs. But it's the 1980s TV series from Hanna-Barbera that most people are probably familiar with today, and will, in all likelihood, be the major source material for the film.
A Smurfs movie has been in the offing for quite some time, with producer Jordan Kerner having secured the film rights back in 2002. Perhaps like the Smurfs' number one enemy Gargamel, he kept losing track of those little blue twits soon after finding them. Whatever the reason for the delay, things are finally getting underway, with Shrek franchise veterans David Stem and David Weiss now "in negotiations to pen the screenplay."
Smurfs will be the first hybrid film for Sony Pictures Animation, combining live action with CGI. (It was difficult to find enough actors "three apples high" to fill all the roles.) According to the article, Sony will "launch a licensing effort... at this year's Licensing Show beginning today in New York." Perhaps also like Gargamel, they're hoping to turn tiny Smurfs into big gold.
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