Los Angeles (March 30th, 2014) Twentieth Century Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios are proud to announce that comedian Kevin Hart has come on board the Peanuts film to give the voice to history’s most iconic beagle. “I’m honored to be asked to voice Snoopy. As child, I was a huge Peanuts fan.” Hart, who’s last films include Grudge Match and Ride Along, can be seen in the upcoming Think Like A Man Too and Wedding Ringer with Josh Gad. This will be the first time Snoopy will talk on screen. The only previous time Snoopy has “talked” on screen is in the 1988 ABC special Snoopy the Musical. Cam Clarke provided the voice over singing. Hart’s performance will differ from that in that Snoopy will be interacting with other characters on screen as well. A first for the franchise.
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.
Also playing a key role in the deal was Neil Cole, chief executive officer and president of Iconix Brand Group (NASDAQ: ICON), which, in a joint venture with Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates, formed Peanuts Worldwide in 2010, the home to the global “Peanuts” property.
Twentieth Century Fox Animation director of development Ralph Millero worked closely with Morrison and with the Schulz estate in securing the rights to the property.
Commented Vanessa Morrison: “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.”
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.”
“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.