Thursday, August 1, 2013
Looks Paramount Animation has a clear idea of what they're going to do...
The studio has either been dormant for over a year, or they just wanted to keep things a secret. All we heard from March 2012 to now was that they had a couple projects in the works: A SpongeBob SquarePants movie sequel, The New Kid (based on a webcomic) and Beastlies (J. J. Abrams' project, based on a line of hand-sculpted toys). It was also revealed recently that live action portions of the SpongeBob film were being shot. Other than that, it seemed like Paramount Animation was taking a little while to enter the ring.
Now they have announced the release dates for the SpongeBob sequel and a film called Monster Trucks...
Labeled SpongeBob SquarePants 2 on Box Office Mojo, the film is slated for February 13, 2015. Smart, smart move. Originally, Paramount announced that the film would open in November 2014, but over the months we started seeing heavy competition migrating to that month: Big Hero 6, Home, Tomorrowland, Into The Woods and Night at the Museum 3. It would've had no room to breathe. I thought they were going to move it anyway.
Monster Trucks, as reported by Deadline, is said to be a live-action/animation hybrid and it might be directed by none other than Chris Wedge (Ice Age, Epic). The film will open on May 29, 2015. That's right ahead of DreamWorks' B.O.O., but it's opening after 2015's giants - namely Avengers: Age of Ultron and Star Wars Episode VII. Mary Parent, as expected, is producing and the script will be penned by Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, the duo who brought you Kung Fu Panda's script. Apparently Paramount Animation is expecting this to be a franchise starter...
Other than that, this news doesn't exactly thrill me though I'm glad to see Paramount Animation getting started. Hopefully, like I've said many times here before, they will try to be bold and take cues from the film that partially motivated the distributor to find an in-house animation studio: Rango. From where I currently stand, their slate seems rather safe. SpongeBob SquarePants 2 is fine for a debut film, being a guaranteed success but... Beastlies sounds like a derivative of cutesy animated films (can't believe that this is Abrams' project!) and this Monster Trucks also sounds kind of bland.
But maybe I'm judging books by their covers. Monster Trucks and Beastlies could be quite different, or maybe not. Who knows. Out of all their projects, The New Kid piques my interest. Again, Paramount executive Adam Goodman talked about secrecy so maybe Paramount Animation has something in store for us... Or maybe they just want to cash in on other studio's successes by making safe surefire hits. Who knows.
What do you think?