Demi Lovato, Rainn Wilson and Mandy Patinkin are taking the Smurfs back to their roots.
The actors have joined the voice cast of "Get Smurfy," a computer-animated reboot of
Lovato will voice Smurfette, Patinkin will voice Papa Smurf and Wilson will voice the evil wizard Gargamel in the film, which will feature an animation style reminiscent of Smurfs creator Peyo Culliford's original comics. In that respect the film will diverge from the hybrid of live action and computer animation in 2011's "The Smurfs" and 2013's
Directed by Kelly Asbury ("Shrek 2," "Gnomeo & Juliet") and set for release March 31, 2017, "Get Smurfy" will find Smurfette and her brothers trekking through an enchanted forest to find a fabled Smurfs village before Gargamel beats them to it. The movie also promises to answer such mysteries as why Smurfette is the only girl of her kind and whether Smurfs come in colors other than blue.
While American moviegoers haven't exactly been clamoring for more Smurfs — "Smurfs 2" was a dud at the domestic box office, grossing just $71 million on a $105-million budget — both films performed well overseas.
Sony has also been looking to breathe new life into its existing properties and build up new ones in an era when brand-name franchises have become all-important to Hollywood studios and Wall Street analysts. In that sense, trying to rejuvenate the Smurfs makes sense. The question is whether it will make dollars too.