Charles M. Schulz
Charles M. Schulz
You're going to be on the big screen again, Charlie Brown!
The Peanuts gang will be coming to a theater near you in 2015 as the heirs of Charles M. Schulz and 20th Century Fox Animation, along with the latter's Blue Sky Studios division, have announced they are developing a feature film starring the legendary comic strip characters.
Cue that famous piano theme.
The deal for the movie rights announced today was years in the making, according to the late cartoonist's son, Craig Schulz.
"We have been working on this project for years," Schulz, president of Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates, said in a statement. "We finally felt the time was right and the technology is where we need it to be to create this film."
The task of adapting the beloved blockhead, Linus, Lucy, Peppermint Patty, Marcie, Snoopy, Woodstock et al will mostly stay within the family. That's because Craig Schulz cowrote the screenplay with his son Bryan Schulz (the late cartoonist's grandson) with assistance from scribe Cornelius Uliano.
Steve Martino, the mastermind behind Fox's 2008 hit Horton Hears a Who! and this year's blockbuster sequel, Ice Age: Continental Drift, will direct.
It's hard to believe but aside from the slew of classic TV specials like It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and A Charlie Brown Christmas, the last time Charlie Brown and company got the feature treatment was 32 years ago with 1980's Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!). That capped a four-movie Peanuts run for that started with 1969's A Boy Named Charlie Brown and continued with 1972's Snoopy, Come Home and 1977's Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown.
The franchise's newest installment is scheduled to unspool on Nov. 25, 2015, and will commemorate the 65th anniversary of the strip's debut.