Culver City, California – Sony Pictures Animation has given an update on their line-up of upcoming projects — which includes the animated motion picture debut of a classic comic strip figure, an original tale from one of the form’s most multi-faceted filmmakers, as well as the continued expansion of two of the studio’s most popular worlds.

Bob Osher, President of Sony Pictures Digital Productions, stated: “I am really excited by the variety of our upcoming projects as well as the amazing talent working on them.”

  • Sony Pictures Animation has hired animation industry veteran Kelly Asbury (Shrek 2, Gnomeo & Juliet) to direct an all-new, fully computer-animated film featuring the Smurfs. The family adventure, currently going by the working title The Untitled Smurfs Movie, is anticipated in theatres August 2015. Jordan Kerner (The Smurfs) is producing, with Mary Ellen Bauder (Hotel Transylvania) co-producing. The original two live action/CG hybrid Smurfs movies from Sony Pictures Animation grossed a combined $910 million worldwide.
  • Genndy Tartakovsky will return to the director’s chair for Hotel Transylvania 2, scheduled for September 2015, which will bring back Adam Sandler’s Dracula. Sandler and Robert Smigel are taking on writing duties for the comedy.
  • Tartakovsky is also busy working an all-new CG take on comic strip hero Popeye, all the while developing an original idea for Sony Pictures Animation titled Genndy Tartakovsky’s Can You Imagine?, described as a fantastic journey through one boy’s imagination. Producer Michelle Murdocca will once again work closely with Tartakovsky.

Kelly Asbury, who was nominated for the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or for Shrek 2, offered: “I’m really excited about taking the Smurfs in a completely new fresh direction. We’re not making a Smurfs 3 film. Our character designs and environments will be stylistically closer to the original artwork created by Peyo. Our story will explore the beginnings of the beloved little blue creatures in a fun full CG animated comedy-adventure for every generation to enjoy.”