CULVER CITY, Calif., April 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Production has begun on Columbia Pictures' and Sony Pictures Animation's live-action/computer animated hybrid 3D family comedy The Smurfs® 2, the sequel to the 2011 worldwide hit that took in over $560 million at the worldwide box office. Returning from the first film for an all-new adventure that takes the Smurfs to Europe are Director Raja Gosnell, Producer Jordan Kerner, Executive Producer Ezra Swerdlow, and stars Neil Patrick Harris as Patrick Winslow, Jayma Mays as Grace Winslow, Sofia Vergara as Odile, and Hank Azaria as Gargamel. Brendan Gleeson joins the cast as Patrick Winslow's stepfather, Victor Doyle. Behind the microphone, as the voices of the Smurfs, all of the principal voice cast members will reprise their roles, including Katy Perry as Smurfette, Jonathan Winters as Papa Smurf, Alan Cumming as Gutsy, Fred Armisen as Brainy, George Lopez as Grouchy and Anton Yelchin as Clumsy; in addition, John Oliver, who took a cameo voice role as Vanity Smurf in the first film, returns to voice his now primary role. Additionally behind the microphone, Christina Ricci and JB Smoove will voice the new Smurf-like naughty characters, Vexy and Hackus, respectively. The screenplay is by J. David Stem & David N. Weiss and Karey Kirkpatrick and Jay Scherick & David Ronn, based on the characters and works of Peyo. The Smurfs 2 is scheduled to be released in U.S. theaters on July 31, 2013.
In this sequel to the hybrid live action/animated family blockbuster comedy The Smurfs, the evil wizard Gargamel creates a couple of mischievous Smurf-like creatures called the Naughties that he hopes will let him harness the all-powerful, magical Smurf-essence. But when he discovers that only a real Smurf can give him what he wants — and only a secret spell that Smurfette knows can turn the Naughties into real Smurfs — Gargamel kidnaps Smurfette and brings her to Paris, where he has been winning the adoration of millions as the world's greatest sorcerer. It's up to Papa, Clumsy, Grouchy, and Vanity to return to our world, reunite with their human friends Patrick and Grace Winslow, and rescue her! Will Smurfette, who has always felt different from the other Smurfs, find a new connection with the Naughties Vexy and Hackus – or will the Smurfs convince her that their love for her is True Blue?
Commenting on the announcement, Kerner said, "We've brought the entire live-action and voice cast into the sequel. It's a real thrill to 'get the Smurf village back together' for another adventure. The same holds true for the crew. We are so deep in talent we know a fine film will result. It's like visiting with old friends – just some slightly smaller than others."
Many crew members from the original film are reuniting, including Director of Photography Phil Méheux, Production Designer Bill Boes, Editor Sabrina Plisco, Costume Designer Rita Ryack and Visual Effects Supervisor Richard R. Hoover. The visual effects and animation are by Sony Pictures Imageworks Inc.
SMURF, and all Smurfs characters ©Peyo. All Rights Reserved. "Smurf" and "The Smurfs" are registered trademarks of STUDIO PEYO.
About the Smurfs
The story of the Smurfs - a property created by Peyo - started in 1958 with the creation of comic books which were later brought to both the big and small screen. Over the years, the little blue characters haven't just limited themselves to the page and the screen. They have inspired records and CDs that have sold millions of copies, entire collections of figurines and toys, and many more products. In all, more than 3,000 derived products have been produced and leading brands and companies have spread their messages worldwide with the help of the Smurfs. A multitude of new projects appear regularly, thus making the success of the Smurfs planetary!
About Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; a global channel network; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of entertainment in more than 142 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.sonypictures.com
About Sony Pictures Animation
Sony Pictures Animation produces a variety of animated entertainment for audiences around the world. The studio is following its worldwide comedy hits—the 2011 hybrid live action/animated family blockbuster, The Smurfs (3D) and the 2009 mouth-watering Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (3D)—with the family comedy Hotel Transylvania (3D) in September 2012 and The Smurfs 2 (3D) in July 2013. Sony Pictures Animation, in conjunction with Aardman Animations, has produced two feature films: the critically acclaimed, CG-animated family comedy Arthur Christmas (3D); and the stop-frame animated high-seas adventure, The Pirates! Band of Misfits (3D), in U.S. theaters April 27, 2012. In 2007, Surf's Up received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Animated Feature Film. The division, whose first feature film Open Season led to a very successful movie franchise, is turning 10 this year. Sony Pictures Animation is an operating unit of Sony Pictures Digital.
About Lafig Belgium S.A.
Lafig Belgium is the owner of the rights to produce audio-visual works based on the Smurf universe and of the Smurf worldwide licensing rights (together with IMPS). Lafig Belgium is controlled by the heirs of Pierre Culliford, better known under his pseudonym Peyo, the author/creator of the Smurfs. For 50 years, the Culliford family has controlled the Smurf characters and all licenses worldwide.
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SOURCE Sony Pictures Animation