Sony Pictures Animation has set its untitled third Smurfs movie for March 31, 2017 — the first title to be set on that date.
The studio said it plans to take advantage of the run-up to Easter, which falls on April 16 that year.
“The Smurfs” grossed $563 million in 2011 and “The Smurfs 2” took in $347 million in 2013.
But the next Smurfs film will be a complete reboot from those live-action/animated hybrids. This time the film will hew closer to creator Peyo’s original drawings and concept. The new take will be directed by Kelly Asbury, whose credits include “Shrek 2” and “Gnomeo & Juliet.” Jordan Kerner, who produced “The Smurfs” and “Charlotte’s Web,” is producing. Mary Ellen Bauder is co-producing.
Said Asbury in a blog post about the film: “Since this new film has no connection to the previous live-action hybrids, we have a whole new world to create and it is critical to me and my crew that we deliver a movie that will enchant families and fans worldwide for years to come.”
Sony said the film’s final title and voice cast will be announced in the coming months.