Deadline reports that the signature has been signed (presumably in blood) over the movie rights to Charles Schulz’s beloved Peanuts series. 20th Century Fox will produce, and Blue Sky Studios, the makers of the Ice Age series, will animate. Steve Martino, co-director on Horton Hears a Who! and Ice Age: Continental Drift, will direct the film, which is already slated for a November 25, 2015 release date.
In an age of rampant nostalgia-baiting in filmmaking, it’s not surprising that someone finally got around to plundering the Peanuts brand for profit. It’s not as though these characters are pure and untouched by commercialism, of course, as a certain brand of life insurance (among many more products) can attest. And they’re not even strangers to adaptation; in fact, a big part of their appeal comes from the TV movies made from the long-running comic strip, especially A Charlie Brown Christmas. I wasn’t even aware before now that this will actually be the fifth feature-length, theatrical Peanuts film! And since this comes after two years of negotiations with Schulz’s family, they presumably feel comfortable with whatever creative pitch the studio has for the project.
But at this (very early) stage, I’m ill at ease, because of one big sticking point: this movie is going to be CGI. And that just feels wrong. Wrong for the way the characters are designed, and wrong for the general mood that a good Peanuts story would convey. And it will presumably be in 3D. Ugh. Again, it’s still early, so we’ll see where they go with this.
By the way, I hope you appreciate my not making a “good grief!” or “you’re a ____, Charlie Brown,” joke.