Paul Feig, the director of Bridesmaids and The Heat and creator of the TV show Freaks and Geeks will produce and oversee Fox’s upcoming animated movie based on Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip. In a statement Feig said, “Charles Schulz’s characters influenced everything in my career, especially Freaks and Geeks.” Feig will work with director Steve Martino (Ice Age: Continental Drift, Horton Hears a Who) and a writing trio that includes Schulz’s son Craig and grandson Bryan.
While Feig’s credentials as a director are impressive, the same cannot necessarily be said for Martino or Blue Sky, 20th Century Fox’s animation studio. Much of Blue Sky’s filmography consists of the Ice Age franchise with a few standalone films including Horton and Rio. Also, since Blue Sky is a computer animation studio, in all likelihood the Peanuts crew will be transitioning from their traditional two dimensional, hand-drawn animation style to three dimensional characters. Given how other classic cartoons and stories have fared in the transition to 21st century 3D “family” movies, Peanuts fans have reason to be concerned.
Fox plans to release Peanuts on November 6, 2015 to coincide with the 65th anniversary of the strip’s debut and the 50th anniversary of A Charlie Brown Christmas.