The first two movies brought them into the real world but will The Smurfs 3 ever happen? The Smurfs started life as a Belgian comic series in 1958, and soon became a franchise that covered TV shows, movies, and toys. The animated Smurfs series by Hanna-Barbera is probably the most popular incarnation of the series, which ran on NBC from 1981 to 1989.
Sony later produced The Smurfs' first live-action movie in 2011, which brought the title characters to life with CGI. The movie was directed by Raja Gosnell - who helmed the first two live-action Scooby-Doo movies - and boasted an eclectic voice cast that included Neil Patrick Harris, Katy Perry, and Sofía Vergara. The movie received some savage reviews but was a sizable hit for the studio, grossing over $560 million worldwide. The Smurfs 2 quickly followed in 2013, which added Christina Ricci, and Brendan Gleeson (Mr. Mercedes) to the cast.
The Smurfs 2 also received terrible reviews though its gross was noticeably lower. Sony originally announced a trilogy of live-action adventures, so is The Smurfs 3 still being planned?
The Smurfs 3 Was Cancelled In 2014
The Smurfs 3 was originally put in development when production commenced on the second movie. The third entry was earmarked for release in 2015, only for Sony to later confirm the movie had been cancelled. No plot details for The Smurfs 3 were ever revealed, and it's possible it was scrapped due to the combination of the franchise's dire critical reception and the second movie's lower gross.
Smurfs: The Lost Village Rebooted The Franchise
Instead of The Smurfs 3, the series was rebooted with Smurfs: The Lost Village in 2017. This animated adventure was directed by Kelly Asbury (Gnomeo & Juliet), with a voice cast that featured Demi Lovato, Julia Roberts, and Mandy Patinkin. Patinkin took over the role of Papa Smurf from actor Jonathan Winters, who passed away before the release of The Smurfs 2.
Smurfs: The Lost Village was something of an origin tale, and leaned closer in spirit to the original comic and TV series than the live-action movies. The Lost Village was a comfortable financial success and while it didn't receive great reviews either, it received a slightly warmer reception than the previous movies.
A Smurfs 3D TV Series Will Arrive In 2020
While no new movies appear to be in the works, a new Smurfs series is set to arrive in 2020. Like Smurfs: The Lost Village, the new show will feature 3D animation, with each episode running around 11 minutes. Given the amount of time that's passed since the second live-action adventure was released, its doubtful Sony will ever revisit The Smurfs 3.