Though we haven't heard about Hotel Transylvania 4 in months, the animates sequel surprised us this morning with an official title announcement along with an earlier than expected release date. Initially, Sony Pictures had set the animated sequel for a release in December with that date later moved up to Aug. 6, 2021. Now, along with officially revealing that the sequel will be called Hotel Transylvania: Transformania, Sony has announced that the movie will now premiere in theaters on July 23.

It has also been revealed by Sony that Transformania will be the final Hotel Transylvania movie. Series creator and director Genndy Tartakovsky will also return, but he won't be directing this time. Jennifer Kluska and Derek Drymon will be helming the sequel using a screenplay written by Tartakovsky. Alice Dewey Goldstone produces with Tartakovsky executive producing alongside Selena Gomez and Michelle Murdocca. The sequel was developed remotely during the pandemic.

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Gomez is also back as the voice of Mavis, a 126-year-old vampire and Dracula's daughter. Andy Samberg returns as her husband. Adam Sandberg was unavailable to return, but the rest of the cast includes Brian Hull, Kathryn Hahn, Keegan-Michael Key, Steve Buscemi and David Spade. Details about the sequel haven't yet been made available and the official trailer has yet to be released. In an interview with Collider last year, Tartakovsky explained the tone of the script that he chose to write himself when another screenwriter missed the mark.

"It started, was it last year? They had another set of writers and, it didn't hit the tone," the filmmaker explained. "And I thought I can provide the tone. And the writing goes faster for me than drawing obviously. They asked and then I decided to just do it then. It was from late last year through the first few months in the pandemic."

Adding that the movie was first conceived as a Christmas movie, Tartakovsky hints that the story has went in some wild directions from there. "It did start that way, but it's mutated from that. Am I allowed to talk about it? I better not. I'm trying to remember if what they released as logline, but I better not," he said.

Collectively, the Hotel Transylvania movies have earned more than $1.3 billion in worldwide ticket sales against production costs of about $245 million. While reviews for the various installments have been mixed, the movies have been consistent big hitters at the box office. Additionally, the movie series has spawned the TV series adaptation that's currently airing on the Disney Channel. Bryn McAuley provides the voice of Mavis Dracula in the TV series.

Hotel Transylvania: Transformania is currently scheduled to be released in theaters on July 23, 2021. That weekend will see the animated sequel competing with M. Night Shyamalan's new horror movie Old, though Space Jam: A New Legacy will premiere the previous week on July 16 with the Disney movie Jungle Cruise following the week after on July 30. Other releases from Sony for this summer include Vivo, Peter Rabbit 2, and a Cinderella musical. The company will also release the anticipated sequel Venom: Let There Be Carnage on Sept. 24.

This news comes to us courtesy of Sony Pictures on Twitter.