'The Smurfs 2' Production Begins, Complete With New Cast Additionby: Posted:
Despite many wishing Hollywood would just quit flogging an entire generation's collective childhoods, "The Smurfs" made a serious impact last summer. So much so, that Coming Soon reports that Columbia Pictures has confirmed production has begun on "The Smurfs 2".
The original conquered the box office the July 25, 2011 weekend it debuted, and eclipsed $500 million at the box office by the Sept. 23-25 weekend before topping out at over $560 million.
The possibilities are apparently so lucrative, that Columbia had precious little trouble luring back director Raja Gosnell, producer Jordan Kerner, executive producer Jordan Swerdlow and the complete original cast including Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, Sofia Vergara and Hank Azaria. Additionally, the sequel retains the voice talents of Katy Perry, Alan Cumming, Jonathan Winters, Fred Armisen, George Lopez and Anton Yelchin.
"It's like visiting with old friends - just some slightly smaller than others," Kerner said.
Joining the returning formula of stars will be JB Smooth and Christina Ricci, portraying "Smurf-like" mischief makers Hackus and Vexy. Very early in her own career, Ricci made a splash of her own as Wednesday Addams in 1991's big-screen take on "The Addams Family". That one went on to earn $113.5 million and became 1991's seventh highest-grossing release.
This time around, The Smurfs and friends are all headed to Europe, Coming Soon reports. They'll be chasing down Gargamel (Azaria), who's kidnapped Smurfette (Perry) and absconded to Paris with her to capture the Smurfs' magical essence.