After two years of negotiations, Deadline is reporting that Blue Sky Studios and 20th Century Fox have acquired the rights to turn the popular Peanuts comic strip into an animated film.
Peanuts was the brain child of the late cartoonist, Charles Schultz, who drew the comic until right before his death in 2000. Peanuts is one of the most beloved and popular cartoon strips of all time, featuring the iconic characters of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy and Linus. Before Schultz died, he announced his retirement because his “family [did] not wish “Peanuts” to be continued by anyone else.” Looks like his family, after some tough rounds of negotiations, finally changed their minds.
The currently untitled Peanuts film is set for a November 25, 2015 release date, just in time for 65th and 50th anniversaries of the comic strip and A Charlie Brown Christmas, respectively. Steve Martino (Ice Age: Continental Drift, Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who!) is set to direct. The screenplay will be penned by Craig Schulz, Bryan Schulz and Cornelius Uliano. Craig and Bryan are Charles Schulz’s son and grandson, respectively, and will be producing the film alongside Uliano.
Blue Sky will now follow in DreamWorks’ footsteps by acquiring the rights to popular cartoon characters, then spinning that characters into a feature-length movie. Mr. Peabody & Sherman, anyone? This is also much like the Popeye film that Sony Pictures Animation plans to release under the direction of Genndy Tartakovsky. Notice a trend?
I’m not sure how pumped I am about this news. The Peanuts characters are charmingly simple, meant to side scroll across the panels and frame in their 2D states. I have a hard time imagining what the final rendered characters wil look like; currently, all I can think of is the giant Charlie Brown balloon that bobs up and down at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Not so good. But with the two Schulz boys on board, at least in some respect the Peanuts property will still be a family endevour. So maybe this is film still has potential.
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