Sony Pictures Animation Announces 2017-2018 Slate

Sony Pictures Animation revealed its 2017-2018 theatrical and television slate. The list of upcoming movies and series announced includes Smurfs: The Lost Village, Emojimovie: Express Yourself, The Star, Hotel Transylvania 3 and Ghostbusters: Ecto Force, among others.

Kristine Belson, President of Sony Pictures Animation, says, “We are meaningfully stepping up our level of production, while creating an environment that fosters the best talent. Our goal is to enlarge our presence in the animation landscape with a uniquely diverse slate, and our strategy to get there is to let artists drive the movies creatively.”

Tom Rothman, Chairman of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, adds, “I could not be more proud of the way Kristine Belson has rebuilt Sony Pictures Animation into the boldest home for animation in the industry.”

The following descriptions for the full slate have been pulled from the official statement with slight edits.

Smurfs: The Lost Village will be a fully-animated comedy that delivers a fresh new take on the famous blue creatures. The film, based on the characters and works of Peyo, will be directed by Kelly Asbury (Shrek 2, Gnomeo & Juliet) and written by Stacey Harman and Pamela Ribon. The voice cast includes Demi Lovato as Smurfette, Jack McBrayer as Clumsy, Joe Manganiello as Hefty, Danny Pudi as Brainy, and Rainn Wilson as Gargamel, with Mandy Patinkin as Papa. It is scheduled for release on April 7, 2017.

Emojimovie: Express Yourself will offer a surprising and comic take on the secret world of our phones and the beloved characters that have become daily necessities in global interpersonal communication. The feature, will be directed by Anthony Leondis, produced by Michelle Raimo Kouyate, and written by Anthony Leondis & Eric Siegel. It is scheduled for an August 2017 release.

The Star (working title) will be a computer-animated feature directed by Oscar nominee Timothy Reckart, executive produced by DeVon Franklin, Lisa Henson, and Brian Henson; co-produced by Jenni Magee Cook; and written by Carlos Kotkin and Simon Moore. In The Star, a small but brave donkey and his animal friends become the unsung heroes of the greatest story ever told, the first Christmas. Sony Pictures Animation produces in association with The Jim Henson Company. The Star is scheduled for a December 8, 2017 release.

Hotel Transylvania 3 will be the follow-up to Sony Pictures Animation’s highest grossing film in the U.S. Director Genndy Tartakovsky and producer Michelle Murdocca are back, with Adam Sandler executive producing, and Michael McCullers writing the screenplay. Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez and Andy Samberg will be returning as the voices of Dracula, his vampire daughter Mavis, and her human husband Johnny. Hotel Transylvania 3 is scheduled for a September 21, 2018 release.

From Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, the geniuses behind The LEGO Movie, comes an as-of-yet untitled animated Spider-Man feature. The film is being written by Phil Lord. Avi Arad, Amy Pascal, Phil Lord & Christopher Miller are producing; Craig Sost is co-producing. Bob Persichetti is directing. The movie is scheduled for a December 21, 2018 release.

A brand new animated television series, Ghostbusters: Ecto Force, will further expand the Ghostbusters cinematic universe and focus on a new generation of Ghostbusters in the year 2050 who capture ghosts around the world with help from local teams—and some very cool gear. The younger-skewing Sony Pictures Animation project is being creatively spearheaded by Ivan Reitman and his production company Ghost Corps. Ghostbusters: Ecto Force is eyeing an early 2018 debut.

Hotel Transylvania: The Television Series, produced in partnership with Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana, will focus on the teenage years of Mavis, Dracula’s daughter, and her friends. It will be airing on the Disney Channel worldwide and will target a 2017 release.

A Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2D animated small-screen series, produced in partnership with DHX Media and commissioned by TELETOON in Canada, will expand on the adventures of the computer-animated feature films and will air on Cartoon Network in the U.S. and Turner channels across EMEA, APAC and Latin American markets. It will air sometime in 2017.

Surf’s Up 2: Wavemania, directed by Henry Yu and produced by Michelle Wong is the follow-up to the 2007 Oscar nominee. The project is in partnership with WWE Studios and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The voice cast includes WWE Superstars John Cena, The Undertaker, Triple H, Diva Paig and Mr. McMahon as an an infamous big wave riding crew of penguins known as The Hang 5 which Cody Maverick convinces to let him join on their journey to a mysterious surf spot where legend has it they’ll find the biggest waves in the world. The movie will debut on home entertainment in the Spring of 2017.