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Chris Miller, the Oscar-nominated helmer of 2011’s Puss in Boots, is set to direct Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Animation’s untitled Smurfs musical, which is slated for a Dec. 20, 2024 theatrical release. The studios plan to highlight the announcement this week at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in France.
Earlier this year, Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Animation announced a partnership with Smurf worldwide licensors holders LAFIG Belgium and IMPS to produce multiple movies based on the Smurfs property created by Belgian artist Pierre Culliford, known as Peyo. This untitled musical, from a screenplay by Pam Brady (Team America: World Police), is the first of those projects.
Miller is also director of Shrek The Third, and his voice acting credits includes the penguin Kowalski in the Madagascar franchise.
Latifa Ouaou, executive vp movies and global franchises for Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Animation (who earlier produced Miller’s Puss in Boots), is overseeing development on the Smurfs movie, along with Emily Nordwind, senior vp development and production for Paramount Animation.
“We’re thrilled to have such a talented group of people bringing audiences this latest rendition of the beloved Smurfs universe, including the incredible Chris Miller,” said Ramsey Naito, who has been leading Paramount Animation as president, animation & development, since September, in addition to her oversight of Nickelodeon Animation.
Upcoming titles under the Paramount Animation umbrella include Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank, which the studio will highlight this week at Annecy before it opens July 15. Others include Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, slated for an Aug. 4, 2023 release; Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie, set for Oct. 13, 2023; and The Tiger’s Apprentice, Dec. 20, 2023.
The Smurfs began life as a Belgian comic in 1958 and spawned various animated series and films. The property gained prominence in the U.S. thanks to the 1980s Hanna-Barbera Productions cartoon.
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