Sony Sets Release Date for Next 'Smurfs' Movie

Smurfs 2 - H 2013
Sony Pictures

Kelly Asbury ('Shrek 2') is directing.

Sony Pictures will release a new Smurfs movie — this one fully animated — on March 31, 2017.

Sony Pictures Animation is creating the new film, which at the moment is simply called Untitled Animated Smurfs. The studio's first two Smurfs movies, 2011's The Smurfs and The Smurfs 2, which collectively have grossed more than $900 million worldwide, were a combination of live action and CG animation, but the new film will be entirely animated. 

Kelly Asbury (Shrek 2) is directing, with Jordan Kerner, whose credits include Charlotte's Web and The Smurfs, producing and Mary Ellen Bauder (Hotel Transylvania) co-producing. The studio said that the film's final title and voice cast will be announced during the coming months.

"With a fully animated feature close in tone and design to Peyo's original creation, we're embracing everything that has made the Smurfs so special for audiences worldwide," Rory Bruer, Sony president, worldwide distribution, said. "The date is a perfect match for this movie. With the kids on break, every day plays like summer, and for franchises with global appeal like the Smurfs, audiences are ready to turn out for great entertainment."

The March 31, 2017, date is currently open in terms of direct competition, although Warners is planning to release an unspecified animated movie of its own on Feb. 10, and Fox has penciled in DreamWorks' Captain Underpants on March 10 and Blue Sky's Ferdinand on April 7.