Deadline reports that Nickelodeon Animation and Paramount Animation are teaming up for a new creative partnership with LAFIG Belgium and IMPS to produce multiple The Smurfs musical movies.
Sony previously held the iconic characters created by Belgian artist Peter Culliford aka Peyo. Their three theatrical releases earned the studio over $1.1 billion worldwide.
The premiere project under this new partnership will be an animated musical feature set for a 2024 release. Production for that film will start this year with Pam Brady of South Park and Team America writing.
Along with the deal, Nickelodeon announced a 26-episode second season of the CGI-animated series, The Smurfs.
“Nickelodeon is the home to some of the world’s most popular family franchises, and we’re honored to add The Smurfs to that roster. We’re excited to tell a story that stays true to its origins, but with a Smurf-tastic musical twist that excites new audiences and builds on the Smurfs franchise and universe of wonderful characters and stories,” said Ramsey Naito, President of Animation for Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Animation.
Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Animation are in the process of finding a director for the first animated feature.
“It is with great joy and pride that I welcome this new Smurfs film! I am truly excited with this wonderful partnership with the talented, creative, and dynamic teams at Paramount Animation, Nickelodeon Animation, and IMPS…I have no doubt that my father, creator of these marvelous world-famous characters, would also be delighted with this continuation of his work,” said Véronique Culliford, Founder & President of LAFIG and IMPS. “I look so forward to seeing audiences gather together in the near future to enjoy this new adventure of our beloved Smurfs.”
This deal will likely be profitable for Nickelodeon as their previous kids’ animated feature, PAW Patrol: The Movie, grossed $142.5 million, despite analysts’ lack of faith in its success.