The late Charles Schultz' beloved Peanuts gallery will be returning to theaters in three years, to mark the 50th anniversary of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, and the rest of the gang's debut on the small screen with the TV special, A Charlie Brown Christmas (as well as the original comic strip's 65th anniversary).
However, before anyone panics, it ought to be mentioned that the new Peanuts movie will also be the fifth animated feature-length adaptation of Schultz' work to date. That is to say, this won't be a live-action/CGI hybrid take on the newspaper cartoon property (a la Garfield, Smurfs and Marmaduke) nor a computer-animated one; for the time being, it appears the Peanuts crew is coming back to theaters in classic hand-drawn form.
Here is an excerpt from the official press release for the new Peanuts project:
Iconix Brand Group, Inc. (ICON) announced today that Peanuts Worldwide, a joint venture with Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates, will release a Peanuts feature film worldwide in 2015. The film is based on creator, Charles Schulz's, iconic comic strip. Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the rest of the gang are among the most recognized characters in the world.
The as yet untitled animated event will be released on November 25, 2015. 2015 will mark the 65th anniversary of the debut of the "Peanuts" comic strip and the 50th anniversary of the landmark television special, "A Charlie Brown Christmas."
The Peanuts screenplay has been written and will be produced by Craig Schulz, son of Charles Schulz along with his own son, Bryan Schulz and Cornelius Uliano. Twentieth Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios have been chosen by the Schulz family to distribute, produce and animate the new Peanuts movie. Steve Martino will direct; previously, he brought to the big screen (with Jimmy Hayward) Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! Martino also directed (with Michael Thurmeier) Fox's recent box-office smash Ice Age: Continental Drift.
There's a virtual treasure trove of animated Peanuts television specials and made-for-TV movies that older generations grew up on, which also holds true for certain (though, fewer) younger people. It stands to reason that, with Schulz' own son and grandson so involved in the creative process, the new film will (at least) serve as a respectful salute to those features made during his lifetime (less so, the shameless commercialization of the Peanuts brand over the years). At least we won't have to endure a 3D-animated Snoopy and Woodstock dropping pop-culture references and performing renditions of the latest hit singles (or did that already happen)? Moving on...
Peanuts, as mentioned before, hits theaters on November 25th, 2015.
Source: Iconix Brand Group, Inc.
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