Sony Pictures Animation recently held a press event at their headquarters in Culver City, California, giving the media an update on all of their projects currently under development and in production. Here’s a quick summary of what’s in store.
Smurfs: The Lost Village
Peyo’s little blue friends are back, this time in a fully animated feature film (rather than the live action/animated hybrid dreck of recent years). The Smurfs go on an adventure and find a “lost village” full of other Smurfettes. Voice cast includes Demi Lovato, Rainn Wilson, Joe Manganiello, Jack McBrayer, Mandy Patinkin, Michelle Rodriguez, and Julia Roberts, among others. Animation is by Sony Pictures Imageworks. Directed by Kelly Asbury, the film opens April 7th, 2017.
The Emoji Movie
This film takes us inside the world of our smartphones. But instead of a Tron type of experience, we get to hang out with emojis like Meh, Smiler, Alex, and, of course, Poop. Voice talent includes Maya Rudolph, Jennifer Coolidge, James Corden, and Patrick Stewart. Animation is by Sony Pictures Imageworks. Directed by Tony Leonids, the film opens August 4th, 2017. (Also set to debut in front of The Emoji Movie is a new Hotel Transylvania-themed short film called Puppy where Dennis gets a monster-sized pet. Genndy Tartakovsky directs.)
As one of the more surprising pictures in their lineup, Sony is releasing a Christian-themed animated feature set at the time of the birth of Jesus Christ. The story tells the story of Bo the donkey and his animal friends who follow the star of Bethlehem to the stable where the Christ child was born. Voice talent includes Kelly Clarkson, Aidy Bryant, Keegan-Michael Key, Kristen Chenoweth, Kris Kristofferson, Oprah Winfrey, Ving Rhames, and Christopher Plummer, among others. Animation is by Cinesite Studios. Directed by Timothy Reckart, the film opens November 10th, 2017.
Hotel Transylvania 3
The Drac Pack is back for another adventure. This time, Mavis plans a family cruise vacation that has some monstrous (and comedic) repercussions. Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, and Any Samberg are all back for the fun. So is director Genndy Tartakovsky. The film opens September 21st, 2018–just in time for Halloween.
Untitled Spider-Man Animated Movie
Miles Morales will be the focus of Sony’s first animated Spider-Man film. Written by Phil Lord and executive produced by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the film is scheduled to open December 21st, 2018.
With music by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creative genius behind Broadway’s Hamilton and one of the songwriters of Disney’s recent animated hit Moana, this new musical is being directed by Kirk De Micco with a script by Quiana Algeria Hudes, who collaborated with Lin-Manuel on the hit Broadway show In the Heights. This film is slated to open December 18th, 2020.