According to Screen Daily, Columbia Pictures has hired Raja Gosnell to direct "The Smurfs." Gosnell's previous films include "Big Momma's House," "Scooby-Doo" and "Beverly Hills Chihuahua." I obviously don't like any of those movies, but for this he's a perfect fit, as he's got a lot of experience working with hybrid CGI creations.
Jordan Kerner, who has been developing the project for as a producer the past seven years, said: "With Raja coming aboard, we now have a brilliant director who has proven time and again that he has a deft touch in blending the worlds of physical comedy and honest emotion with both live action and photo-real animated characters. Our three-apple-high heroes are in good hands, and we feel absolutely positively Smurfy to be working with him."
The story is based on the legendary blue characters created by Pierre Culliford, more famously known as Peyo. "The Smurfs" originated in 1958 as a Belgian comic strip and NBC launched "The Smurfs" in 1981, spawning 256 episodes and multiple Emmy awards.
I can only assume we are looking at something that will be approached exactly like Fox's "Alvin and the Chipmunks," which grossed over $217 million in 2007 and will see a sequel released this holiday. That film stars Jason Lee as he banters back-and-forth with Alvin, Simon and Theodore, three chipmunks fully rendered in CG.
Outside of voice-casting for "The Smurfs," which I assume will be made up of A-listers, the only real human role I can remember from the cartoon as a kid is that of the sorcerer Gargamel, the sworn enemy of the Smurfs.
Sony is already pushing this into development now for a December of 2010 release.
Are you ready to see those little blue creatures up on the big screen after 28 years?
More news to come! Catch ya' later!
Sources: Rope of Silicon, First Showing