Iconix Brand Group, Inc. announced today that Peanuts Worldwide, a joint venture with Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates, will release a Peanuts feature film worldwide in 2015. The film is based on creator Schulz's iconic comic strip. Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the rest of the gang are among the most recognized characters in the world.
The as yet untitled animated event will be released on November 25, 2015. 2015 will mark the 65(th) anniversary of the debut of the "Peanuts" comic strip and the 50(th) anniversary of the landmark television special, "A Charlie Brown Christmas."
The Peanuts screenplay has been written and will be produced by Craig Schulz, son of Charles Schulz along with his own son, Bryan Schulz and Cornelius Uliano. Twentieth Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios have been chosen by the Schulz family to distribute, produce and animate the new Peanuts movie. Steve Martino will direct; previously, he brought to the big screen (with Jimmy Hayward) "Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!" Martino also directed (with Michael Thurmeier) Fox's recent box-office smash "Ice Age: Continental Drift."
Charles Schulz drew the most popular and influential comic strip of all time, which was read everyday by 355 million people in 75 countries. In addition to the famous strip, Peanuts holiday television specials such as "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" have won Emmy's and continue to be among the highest rated prime time TV specials.
"This is a momentous step for the Peanuts brand. The beloved characters, Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the whole gang resonate with multiple generations all over the world," commented Neil Cole, CEO, Iconix Brand Group. "This film will give us a new medium in which to engage consumers globally and showcase the power of the Peanuts brand, " added Cole.
Craig Schulz, president, Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates, commented, "We have been working on this project for years. We finally felt the time was right and the technology is where we need it to be to create this film. I am thrilled we will be partnering with Blue Sky/Fox to create a Peanuts movie that is true to the strip and will continue the legacy in honor of my father."
Vanessa Morrison, president, Twentieth Century Fox Animation, commented, "We are thrilled to partner with the Schulz family and Iconix and honored to bring the Peanuts characters to the big screen. This all started with our love and respect for the work of Charles Schulz. We thank the Schulz family and Iconix for letting Fox and Blue Sky bring his vision to new generations of film goers."
About Charles Schulz
Charles Schulz once described himself as "born to draw comic strips." A Minneapolis native, he was just two days old when an uncle nicknamed him "Sparky," after the horse Spark Plug from the "Barney Google" comic strip. Throughout his youth, he and his father shared a Sunday-morning ritual of reading the funnies. After serving in the Army during World War II, Schulz got his first big break in 1947 when he sold a cartoon feature called "Li'l Folks" to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. In 1950, Schulz met with United Feature Syndicate, and on Oct. 2 of that year, "Peanuts," so named by the syndicate, debuted in seven newspapers. Schulz died in Santa Rosa, Calif., Feb. 12, 2000--just hours before his last original strip was to appear in Sunday papers.
The Peanuts characters and related intellectual property are owned by Peanuts Worldwide LLC, a joint venture owned 80% by Iconix Brand Group Inc. and 20% by members of the Charles M. Schulz family.
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