It has been seven years since Disney released the 2007 live-action film Enchanted. Even before it was released, execs were calling it the first film of a potential franchise. It took a while but in FebruaryDisney hired Jessie Nelson (Stepmom, The Story of Us, I Am Sam, Because I Said So) to pen a screenplay, with Anne Fletcher attached to direct. It doesn’t look like Disney is willing to give up just yet. Dateline has learned that Disney has hired Shrek 2 and The Smurfs writers J. David Stem and David N. Weiss to pen the sequel and Fletcher is still on board to direct.
A couple months ago it was revealed that Paramount was working on a computer animated movie based on the popular classic trippy 80’s cartoon series The Smurfs (Truth is that the Smurfs are actually 50 years old, having first appeared in comic strips). Well it turns out that producer Jordan Kerner (Charlotte’s Web), who obtained the rights to the Smurfs property in 2002, has also gotten a hybrid live-action Smurfs feature film greenlit at Sony. For those of you wondering what live-action hybrid means, think Alvin and the Chipmunks. Its not clear if Paramount will still be going ahead with their 3D computer animated feature or not.
J. David Stem and David Weiss, the guys who wrote the last two Shrek films, are in negotiations to write the screenplay. Studio head Amy Pascal and chairman-CEO Michael Lynton both feel “that there was potentially a series of films in the making.” I’m sure they do. A series of films means more money. A computer animated Smurfs film had me much more excited than this newly announced hybrid. It seems clear to me that the idea was probably a result of Alvin and the Chipmunks big box office success. The world of the Smurfs is interesting, magical and fantastical. Giving the characters realism and sticking them in a live action world with humans could ruin the whole appeal. I cant see the reason for them doing a live action hybrid unless The Smurfs are somehow forced to leave Mushroom Village. And it seems that kind of plot could be disastrous.