June 20, 2012 7:00am PT by Borys Kit
Rihanna, Jim Parsons to Star in DreamWorks Animation's 'Happy Smekday!' (Exclusive)
This story first appeared in the June 29 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons and singer-actress Rihanna will play the lead voices in Happy Smekday!, a DreamWorks Animation adaptation of the award-winning book The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex.
Tim Johnson, who co-directed DWA’s Antz and Over the Hedge, is sitting solo in the helmer’s chair for Smekday!, which the studio hopes to release during the fourth quarter of 2014.
Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember (Get Smart) are writing the screenplay, and Chris Jenkins (Rio) and Suzanne Buirgy (Kung Fu Panda 2) are producing. DWA head of development Gregg Taylor is overseeing the project.
In Smekday!, a friendly alien race invades Earth and uses it as a hideout from their mortal enemy. When one lowly alien accidentally notifies the enemies of his whereabouts, he is forced to go on the run with a teenage girl, embarking on a comical road trip across a postapocalyptic America and learning what it really means to be human.
Parsons (CAA, Principal Entertainment, Hansen Jacobson), a two-time Emmy winner for Big Bang, has done voicework for a handful of shows, including iCarly and Family Guy. This will be the voice acting debut for Rihanna (WME, Rebel One Management), who made her live-action film debut in this summer's Battleship.