As if they weren’t ubiquitous enough already, the Emojis, those colorful little icons found throughout social media communications as a particularly vivid way to articulate emotional reactions, are inexplicably getting their own movie. Because no idea is too silly or abstract for a Hollywood studio to develop the hell out of in hopes of coming up with something midway marketable.
Believe it or not, there was actually a three-studio auction over an animated movie pitch centering on the Emojis, involving Warner Bros., Paramount and Sony, but Sony ultimately swooped in and made an almost seven-figure deal. That’s right, people – Hollywood is so convinced that you’re dying to see a movie about cute little winky faces that major studios shelled out bucketloads for the rights to make it. Let that one sink in.
Sony Animation has set Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Masters helmer Anthony Leondis, who shopped around storyboards for his idea of an Emoji movie, to direct the pic, from a script by Eric Siegel (Men at Work). Though Leondis isn’t a big name yet, he has DreamWorks Animation’s B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations awaiting release (the studio’s restructuring has led that pic to be delayed a few times now).
And so, there you have it. A movie about the little icons you send your friends when you’re too lazy to articulate words is actually coming to theaters. Probably in 3D. Some may object to my trepidation about this and say “but look at The Lego Movie!” But I’m just not able to mentally equate that iconic brand with cutesy little smiley faces. Not by a long shot.
Oh, and this isn’t even the worst part – the Emoji is in the public domain, which means there are no underlying rights to purchase. Ergo, we may actually see competing Emoji projects from various studios, if you can believe that. And I thought dealing with the rampaging Pac-Man in Pixels was going to be tiresome enough. Though, if I know Hollywood, we’re probably going to hear about a rampaging Pac-Man spinoff in a few weeks. Thanks, Hollywood, love you lots, you never fail to disappoint.