Los Angeles (October 9, 2012)- Hold onto your childhood memories tightly, folks, because Twentieth Century Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios (Ice Age, Robots, Rio, Horton Hears A Who) have acquired rights to make a feature film based on the late Charles Schulz’s beloved and iconic Peanuts franchise. They’ve been talking about this for two years trying to work out a good approach for the film with the Schulz family. Vanessa Morrison, president of Twentieth Century Fox Animation, made the announcement today.
The film doesn’t have a title yet, but they plan to release it on November 25, 2015. That 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.
Charles Schulz drew the most popular and influential comic strip of all time, which was read everyday by 355 million people in 75 countries. In addition to the famous strip, Peanuts holiday television specials such as It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown have won Emmy’s and continue to be among the highest rated prime time TV specials. The spacecraft used in the Apollo 10 mission – the dress rehearsal for the actual lunar landing one mission later – were named for Peanuts characters. The lunar module was named “Snoopy”, and the command module was named “Charlie Brown”.
Steve Martino will direct the Peanuts feature; he had co-directed Horton and Ice Age: Continental Drift. The screenplay is by Charles Shulz’ son Craig, and his grandson Bryan along with Cornelius Uliano. The three of them together are producing.
Craig Schulz, President, Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates, commented, “We have been working on this project for years. We finally felt the time was right and the technology is where we need it to be to create this film. I am thrilled we will be partnering with Blue Sky/Fox to create a Peanuts movie that is true to the strip and will continue the legacy in honor of my father.”
So at least the material is in the hands of the family of the man who created it in the first place. Since they’re driving the boat, it stands a good chance of being a good film – and they picked Blue Sky, which employs some of the best animators in the entire world. The only down side to all this so far is that we’ll have to wait three years to see it!
About 20th Century Fox Film
One of the world’s largest producers and distributors of motion pictures, 20th Century Fox Film produces, acquires and distributes motion pictures throughout the world. These motion pictures are produced or acquired by the following units of FFE: Twentieth Century Fox, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox International Pictures, and Twentieth Century Fox Animation.
About Charles Schulz
Charles Schulz once described himself as “born to draw comic strips.” A Minneapolis native, he was just two days old when an uncle nicknamed him “Sparky,” after the horse Spark Plug from the “Barney Google” comic strip. Throughout his youth, he and his father shared a Sunday-morning ritual of reading the funnies. After serving in the army during World War II, Schulz got his first big break in 1947 when he sold a cartoon feature called “Li’l Folks” to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. In 1950, Schulz met with United Feature Syndicate, and on Oct. 2 of that year, “Peanuts,” so named by the syndicate, debuted in seven newspapers. Schulz died in Santa Rosa, Calif., Feb. 12, 2000 – just hours before his last original strip was to appear in Sunday papers.
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