LOS ANGELES – Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus and the gang are coming to the big screen, as 20th Century Fox Animation and its Blue Sky Studios unit announced they have acquired the rights to Charles M. Schulz's iconic Peanuts comic strip.
The planned movie, the product of an agreement between the studio and Schulz's heirs, is scheduled to arrive in theaters Nov. 25, 2015.
Steve Martino, who directed Fox's Ice Age: Continental Drift and Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who, is to direct from a screenplay by Craig Schulz, Bryan Schulz and Cornelius Uliano. Craig Schulz is the famous cartoonist's son, and Bryan Schulz his grandson.
We have been working on this project for years, Craig 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.
This won't be the first Peanuts feature film, however. A Boy Named Charlie Brown, released in 1969, earned $6 million at the box office, was praised by critics for its design and was nominated for an Academy Award for its music. Three more features followed: Snoopy Come Home, Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown and Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!!).
In its heyday, the Peanuts comic strip was read daily by 355 million people in 75 countries and spawned beloved holiday television specials including It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and A Charlie Brown Christmas, which continue to draw an audience today, 12 years after Charles M. Schulz's death.
The scheduled 2015 release of the Peanuts animated movie will mark the 65th anniversary of the comic strip's debut and the 50th anniversary of A Charlie Brown Christmas.