Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation have obtained film rights for The Smurfs, a live-action/animated project for the bigscreen.

According to Variety, David Stem and David Weiss, who wrote the second and third installments in the Shrek franchise, are in negotiations to write the screenplay.

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Best known in the United States for the long-running Hanna-Barbera cartoon, the Smurfs were created in 1958 by Belgian cartoonist Pierre Culliford, known throughout the world as Peyo. The Smurfs, originally called "Les Schtroumpfs" in French, were created for a Belgian series of comic books, first as minor characters. The villagers, known for their blue skin and small statures, spawned a line of statuettes, games, toys, theme parks and a hit TV series, which ran as part of NBC's Saturday-morning lineup from 1981-90.