Charles Schulz’s PEANUTS Coming to The Big Screen Nov. 25, 2015
Twentieth Century Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios have acquired rights to make a feature film based on the late Charles Schulz’s beloved and iconic “Peanuts” franchise. The agreement is the culmination of over two years of discussions – focused on the film’s creative direction – between the Studio and members of the Schulz family. The announcement was made today by Vanessa Morrison, president of Twentieth Century Fox Animation.
The as yet untitled animated event will be released on November 25, 2015. 2015 will mark the 65th anniversary of the debut of the “Peanuts” comic strip and the 50th anniversary of the landmark television special, “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”
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.
Steve Martino will direct the “Peanuts” feature; previously, he brought to the big screen (with Jimmy Hayward) Fox/Blue Sky’s “Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!” Martino also directed (with Michael Thurmeier) Fox’s recent box-office smash “Ice Age: Continental Drift.” The screenplay is by Craig Schulz and the writing team of Bryan Schulz & Cornelius Uliano. Craig Schulz and Bryan Schulz, respectively Mr. Schulz’s son and grandson, along with Uliano are producing.
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.
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.”