Deadline reported today that How I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris will be taking on the lead role in the upcoming 2011 Sony Pictures film The Smurfs Movie.
Directed by Raja Gosnell, known for such cinematic gems as Home Alone 3, Big Mamma’s House and Beverly Hill Chihuahua, the film mixes both animation and live-action and Harris will be starring in the lead live-action role. J. David Stem and David N. Weiss penned the script with Jordan Kerner producing. Sony plans on the movie being the first in a trilogy of live-action, computer-generated Smurf films. Filming begins in April with a tentative release date of July 29, 2011.
Hit the jump for thoughts on this latest bit of news.
If you told me that there was going to be a Smurf feature film that rebooted the franchise, I’d probably punch you in the face with rage. If you told me that the film would star Neil Patrick Harris, I’d probably still punch you, but then go plan my costume for opening night. I grew up watching the Smurfs. I loved that show, despite later revelations about the possible communist undertones of the series. So, I was rather distressed (and by distressed, I mean furious) at the news of a new film. However, as a HUGE fan of NPH, I can say that he is thus far the shining bit of light in this travesty of an idea. Granted, I thoroughly enjoyed Scooby Doo (a great set of films that respected the original material while presenting it in a tongue in cheek manner), but the other works on Gosnell’s resume leave a rather vile taste in my mouth. Only time will tell for this one. Scooby Doo looked terrible, but once I actually watched, as I said, I loved it.