Get ready for more smurfy adventures, because Nickelodeon is rebooting The Smurfs! Deadline has reported that the network has obtained the global rights for the iconic franchise, teaming up with Smurfs worldwide licensors LAFIG Belgium and IMPS to bring Papa Smurf, Smurfette, Brainy, Hefty, Clumsy, and the evil Gargamel to a new generation.
The deal will involve a brand new computer-animated series planned to debut on Nickelodeon in 2021, which promises “all-new adventures packed with humor, heart and high-stakes action”. Produced by Peyo Productions and Dupuis Edition & Audiovisuel, the series will be directed by William Renaud, who had previously helmed episodes of Casper’s Scare School and Calimero. Writing duties have been assigned to Peter Saisselin and Amy Serafin, both known for their work on Sonic Boom and Alvin!!! And the Chipmunks.
The consumer products division of channel owner ViacomCBS will be handling Smurfs consumer products, based on both the classic and rebooted series, in counties like Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States. These products are intended for retail in 2022.
The Smurfs (French: Les Schtroumpfs) was the creation of Belgian cartoonist Pierre “Peyo” Culliford, first debuting in 1958 in his Johan and Peewit (French: Johan et Pirlouit) comic series and spinning off into their own series the following year. The tiny blue creatures have since grown to be major pop culture icons, best-known for the Hanna-Barbera animated series that aired throughout the 1980s on NBC.
This isn’t the first time Nickelodeon tried to get their hands on The Smurfs, as they first attempted to adapt it into an animated feature trilogy with Paramount Pictures back in 2005. Three years later, however, Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation took control of the film rights, where they then produced two successful, yet critically panned live-action/CGI Smurfs films of 2011 and 2013. Sony attempted course-correction with their 2017 fully-animated reboot Smurfs: The Lost Village, but that ended up with disappointing box office returns.
The following statements on the rebooted Smurfs franchise were provided in the press release:
“The Smurfs is an iconic global franchise that has resonated with audiences for decades. By partnering with LAFIG, we are able to join our creative forces to bring an all-new line of consumer products across multiple categories to consumers, along with a fresh and original animated series.”Pam Kaufman, President, ViacomCBS Consumer Products
“The Smurfs have entertained generations of kids and families globally, and we are thrilled to bring these identifiable characters, their stories and universal themes of cooperation, sharing and caring for their community to Nickelodeon.”Layla Lewis, Senior Vice President, Global Acquisitions and Content Partnerships
“I am extremely proud and happy to have Nickelodeon and its fantastic team to represent our Smurf brand both for the broadcast of our beautiful New TV series and as an agent. We are making history again more than 40 years after the global success of the first TV series of the Smurfs, which is broadcast in more than 100 countries still today! I am convinced that we could not have found a better partner to smurf our beautiful blue planet.”Véronique Culliford, Founder & President, IMPS/LAFIG
Are you smurfy for Nickelodeon’s new Smurfs reboot? Smurf your thoughts in the comments!
Edited by: Kelly Conley