Sony Pictures Animation Unveils 'Spider-Man,' 'Hotel Transylvania 3,' 'Smurfs' And More
Sony Pictures Animation Unveils 'Spider-Man,' 'Hotel Transylvania 3,' 'Smurfs' And More
 19 January 2017

The buzzy news out of yesterday’s Sony Pictures Animation was two-fold. First, their upcoming animated Spider-Man movie would feature not Peter Parker but Miles Morales, the half-black/half-Hispanic teen who took over for a (temporarily) deceased Parker in the Ultimate Spider-Man books back in 2011 before finding his way into the “regular” 616 Marvel world.I went into some detail on that yesterday. The other news that had everyone talking was the announcement that Patrick Stewart would be co-starring in The Emoji Movie as the voice of the poop emoji. This was oddly treated as a surprise from those who don’t remember or know that he has worked with Seth McFarlane for over a decade on American Dad and narrated the Ted movies. Point being, Stewart has a history of self-aware humor at the expense of his regal reputation.Most the hour-long presentation focused on the upcoming Smurfs: The Lost Village. This third Smurfs movie will be entirely animated and disconnected from the previous live-action/animated hybrid offerings from 2011 and 2013. The footage we saw had our heroes traveling to a Pandora-like world, which is ironic/amusing if you remember that we all called Avatar “Dances with Smurfs” before it opened to rave reviews and record-crushing box office.The big news for that April 7th release is that we would meet a new group of female Smurfs, voiced by Elle Kemper, Michelle Rodriguez, Ariel Winter and Julia Roberts. So, this Smurfs movie won’t suffer from “Smurfette Syndrome.” The visuals look gorgeous, and the character designs do look closer to the original Pierre Culliford designs. I’m not going to pretend that I’m foaming at the mouth, but it looks noticeably less punishing than the first two films, films that even my kids didn’t want to see in theaters at the time.Of note, even if it was arguably just nostalgic curiosity, the first Smurfs movie earned $563 million worldwide back in 2011, meaning it was the biggest-grossing animated film of the year in a year filled to the brim with animated product. The sequel made “just” $347m in 2013, which is the kind of come down that a $105m-budgeted sequel can arguably live with. The April 7th release date is a toughie as it’s one week after The Boss Baby (said trailer played like gangbusters in front of Rogue One) although I don’t think Open Road’s Spark will be much in the way of competition.

   News & Events