Man, it seems like it was only three years ago that The Smurfs hit theatres and reminded us just how creepy those little blue guys could be. But it couldn’t have been only three years ago, because then the idea of rebooting The Smurfs franchise would be ridiculous. It must have been longer ago than that, right? Right?
Wrong. Although the first Smurfs film came out in 2011, and The Smurfs 2 only last year, Sony has ordered a totally computer animated reboot for The Smurfs 3 – or, as it is currently being known, The Untitled Smurfs Movie. I actually hope they keep that title – that’s a good one. Kelly Asbury (Shrek 2, Gnomeo & Juliet) has been assigned directorial duties on the new film and she promises that it will be closer in look and tone to artist Peyo’s original Smurfs concepts, which I suppose is cause for celebration.
For those of you who may have missed the cinematic epic that was The Smurfs – to say nothing of The Smurfs 2 – the film combined both live action and CGI, featuring the human forms of Neil Patrick Harris and Hank Azaria alongside the homogeneously animated Smurfs. Its sequel did the same, and that is where this most recent film plans to part company with its predecessors. The Smurfs 3 will be an origin story, with a brand new vision that avoids pesky things like human beings.
Meanwhile, Sony has also announced some of its 2015 animation line-up. In addition to another Smurfs, we have Hotel Transylvania 2 to look forward to, as well as a Sony version of Popeye, both to be directed by Genndy Tartakovsky. Tartakovsky is also developing an original feature at Sony called Can You Imagine? I can’t imagine an original Sony feature, so that’s actually quite exciting.
But I guess the real interest here is The Smurfs 3, which might hold the distinction for being the quickest reboot in cinematic history. It will join with many other sequels and reboots in the Summer of 2015, after which we might very well declare Hollywood dead. What will they do when there’s nothing left to reboot?