By Allison Watkinson
Nickelodeon and Paramount have formed a creative licensing partnership with IMPS and LAFIG Belgium to expand The Smurfs cinematic universe.
That partnership is a huge boost for the franchise, and will result in multiple new shows and films.
Sony previously owned The Smurfs brand, which was originally created by Pierre Culliford, also known as Peyo.
The first project under the new partnership is a movie that will be produced by all four labels.
“It is with great joy and pride that I welcome this new Smurfs film!” said Véronique Culliford, Founder & President of LAFIG and IMPS. “I am truly excited with this wonderful partnership with the talented, creative and dynamic teams at Paramount Animation, Nickelodeon Animation, and IMPS. I am convinced that this great collaboration will allow families around the world to immerse themselves in this unique universe of humor and extraordinary adventures.
“I have no doubt that my father, creator of these marvelous world-famous characters, would also be delighted with this continuation of his work. I look so forward to seeing audiences gather together in the near future to enjoy this new adventure of our beloved Smurfs.”
The movie is expected to be a popular musical addition to the animated Smurfs franchise. It is set to begin production this year and will be released in 2024.
“Nickelodeon is the home to some of the world’s most popular family franchises, and we’re honored to add The Smurfs to that roster,” said Ramsey Naito, President of Animation for Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Animation. “We’re excited to tell a story that stays true to its origins, but with a Smurf-tastic musical twist that excites new audiences and builds on the Smurfs franchise and universe of wonderful characters and stories.”
Latifa Ouaou, EVP of Movies and Global Franchises for Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Animation will oversee the partnership for the studio. She is currently working on finding creative leads for the movie.
“The Smurfs is an iconic and beloved franchise, and we can’t wait to introduce it to a whole new generation of fans by bringing a fresh cinematic perspective to the Smurfs franchise with this all-new story on the big screen.” said Ouaou.
The companies have also announced a second season of the popular CG-animated television series, The Smurfs.
The series originally launched in September in the U.S. It quickly became one of the most popular animated childrens series on cable. After its U.S. debut, it aired on Nickelodeon channels internationally.
In addition to the content partnership, ViacomCBS Consumer Products has been named the consumer products licensing agent for The Smurfs brand in key regions. VCP plans to expand the brands representation through new merchandising and promotional partnerships in select territories and categories.
The company will be releasing a new consumer products line for The Smurfs animated series. The upcoming product line will be launching at retail this year.