We have comic news, but not of the superhero variety–Deadline reports that Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios have made a deal with the family of the late Charles Schulz to make a feature film based on the “Peanuts” comic strip–that’s Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Snoopy, and the gang.
“Peanuts” ran from 1950 to 2000, but hit its real heyday of popularity with a group of animated specials that debuted in the 1960s and ’70s, with the holiday-themed ones still shown today–”A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” and “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.” There also were several feature films, including “A Boy Named Charlie Brown” and “Snoopy, Come Home.”
I always loved all the TV shows, and had a big collection of the comic strips that I read all the time; it was fascinating to see how the drawings evolved over the years. I also read a biography of Schulz that came out a few years ago. The book was tremendous, but no one enjoyed success less than Schulz, and no one could have found a way to be as consistently unhappy as him.
Steve Martino (Fox/Blue Sky’s “Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who!” and Fox Animation’s “Ice Age: Continental Drift”) will direct. Craig Schulz and the writing team of Bryan Schulz & Cornelius Uliano wrote the screenplay (the Schultzes are respectively the son and grandson of Charles). They’ll produce as well.
Fox has set a release date of November 25, 2015, which marks the 50th anniversary of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”