Sony Pictures Animation has hired Kelly Asbury to direct an entirely computer-animated untitled Smurfs feature that is being viewed as a fresh take on the property rather than a third entry in the franchise.
The Smurfs producer Jordan Kerner produces. The original two live-action/CG Smurfs films combined for $910m worldwide.
Genndy Tartakovsky will return to direct Hotel Transylvania 2 while he develops his CG take on iconic comic book property Popeye, expected in 2016.
Hotel Transylvania 2 is scheduled for a September 2015 release and will once again feature Adam Sandler’s Dracula. Sandler and Robert Smigel will co-write the screenplay.
Tartakovsky is also developing an original idea for Sony Pictures Animation titled Genndy Tartakovsky’s Can You Imagine? (pictured), described as a fantastic journey through the imagination of a young boy.
Michelle Murdocca will produce for Tartakovsky as she did on the 2012 hit Hotel Transylvania, which grossed $358m worldwide.
Sony Pictures Animation president of production Michelle Raimo Kouyate is working closely with filmmakers while overseeing the studio’s development slate.