Production has begun on Columbia Pictures' and Sony Pictures Animation's live-action/computer animated hybrid 3D family comedy The Smurfs 2, the sequel to the 2011 worldwide hit that took in over $560 million at the worldwide box office.
Returning from the first film for an all-new adventure that takes the Smurfs to Europe are Director Raja Gosnell, Producer Jordan Kerner, Executive Producer Ezra Swerdlow, and stars Neil Patrick Harris as Patrick Winslow, Jayma Mays as Grace Winslow, Sofía Vergara as Odile, and Hank Azaria as Gargamel.
Brendan Gleeson joins the cast as Patrick Winslow's stepfather, Victor Doyle.
Behind the microphone, as the voices of the Smurfs, all of the principal voice cast members will reprise their roles, including Katy Perry as Smurfette, Jonathan Winters as Papa Smurf, Alan Cumming as Gutsy, Fred Armisen as Brainy, George Lopez as Grouchy and Anton Yelchin as Clumsy; in addition, John Oliver, who took a cameo voice role as Vanity Smurf in the first film, returns to voice his now primary role.
The screenplay is by J. David Stem & David N. Weiss and Karey Kirkpatrick and Jay Scherick & David Ronn, based on the characters and works of Peyo. The Smurfs 2 is scheduled to be released in U.S. theaters on July 31, 2013.
In this sequel to the hybrid live action/animated family blockbuster comedy The Smurfs, the evil wizard Gargamel creates a couple of mischievous Smurf-like creatures called the Naughties that he hopes will let him harness the all-powerful, magical Smurf-essence. But when he discovers that only a real Smurf can give him what he wants -- and only a secret spell that Smurfette knows can turn the Naughties into real Smurfs -- Gargamel kidnaps Smurfette and brings her to Paris, where he has been winning the adoration of millions as the world's greatest sorcerer. It's up to Papa, Clumsy, Grouchy, and Vanity to return to our world, reunite with their human friends Patrick and Grace Winslow, and rescue her! Will Smurfette, who has always felt different from the other Smurfs, find a new connection with the Naughties Vexy and Hackus - or will the Smurfs convince her that their love for her is True Blue?
Commenting on the announcement, Jordan Kerner said this.
"We've brought the entire live-action and voice cast into the sequel. It's a real thrill to 'get the Smurf village back together' for another adventure. The same holds true for the crew. We are so deep in talent we know a fine film will result. It's like visiting with old friends - just some slightly smaller than others."
Many crew members from the original film are reuniting, including Director of Photography Phil Meheux, Production Designer Bill Boes, Editor Sabrina Plisco, Costume Designer Rita Ryack and Visual Effects Supervisor Richard R. Hoover. The visual effects and animation are by Sony Pictures Imageworks Inc.
About the Smurfs
The story of the Smurfs - a property created by Peyo - started in 1958 with the creation of comic books which were later brought to both the big and small screen. Over the years, the little blue characters haven't just limited themselves to the page and the screen. They have inspired records and CDs that have sold millions of copies, entire collections of figurines and toys, and many more products. In all, more than 3,000 derived products have been produced and leading brands and companies have spread their messages worldwide with the help of the Smurfs. A multitude of new projects appear regularly, thus making the success of the Smurfs planetary!