Back in 2014, Sony Pictures Animation announced that their new Smurfs movie will be completely animated, ditching the live-action/CGI hybrid format the studio used in 2011's The Smurfs and 2013's The Smurfs 2. Sony has set a March 31, 2017 release date, with a voice cast that includes Mandy Patinkin as Papa Smurf, Demi Lovato as Smurfette and Rainn Wilson as the nefarious Gargamel. USA Today has the first photos from this animated adventure, now entitled Smurfs: The Lost Village, which gives us our first look at three previously-unannounced characters, Hefty Smurf (voiced by Joe Manganiello), Clumsy Smurf (voiced by Jack McBrayer) and Brainy Smurf (voiced by Danny Pudi).
Smurfs: The Lost Village, which was previously entitled Get Smurfy, follows Smurfette, as she sets off on a journey to find a fabled Smurf village before Gargamel does, bringing along her three brothers Hefty, Clumsy and Brainy. Director Kelly Asbury describes Hefty as the "personal trailer Smurf" of the group, while hinting there may be some romance for Hefty as well. Here's what the director had to say below.
"He's very protective of them all, especially Smurfette, for whom he carries a not-so-secret puppy-love torch. We've designed Hefty to have slightly bulkier arms, and he can flex his biceps - Hefty Smurf has guns. He also walks with a rather puffed-up, confident posture."
The director says that Joe Manganiello used a "heftier, energetic version of his natural voice, which is perfect." He also added that Smurfette's journey "will lead to the greatest discover in all Smurfdom," while the Smurfs use their special skills to outwit the evil Gargamel. Kelly Asbury is directing from a script by Karey Kirkpatrick (The Secret World of Arrietty) and Chris Poche (Over The Hedge). The animated movie will go up against Paramount's Ghost in the Shell on March 31, 2017.
2011's The Smurfs took in a whopping $563.7 million at the worldwide box office, with 2013's The Smurfs 2 earning $347.5 million worldwide. We have previously seen the Smurf village in concept art that was released back in April 2014, but we'll have to wait and see how close this artwork comes to the final rendition. Take a look at the first photos from Smurfs: The Lost Village below, and stay tuned for more images and the first trailer.