Variety reports that the popular '80s cartoon, The Smurfs, is being prepped by Paramount pictures as a CG-animated feature. Paramount will release the film in 2008 to mark the 50th anniversary of The Smurfs. The feature will be made with Paramount partner Nickelodeon Movies, and the film companies are mulling over whether or not to plan the film as the first part of a trilogy.
The Smurfs first appeared in 1958 as a comic strip in Belgium. NBC launched the Saturday morning cartoon in 1981, firmly placing Belgium at the center of '80s pop culture. The animated show racked up 256 episodes and was translated into video games and toys.
The Smurfs joins a growing list of '80s cartoons, toys, and video games that are being translated into films, including the Michael Bay/Steven Spielberg production of The Transformers and the John Woo reimagining of He-Man.
In related news, there is still no movement on the GoBots franchise.