Though there's still another full year before the Smurfs sequel wows us with Neil Patrick Harris's many new reactions to CGI mischief, already Sony is confident enough we'll pay for it that they've started work on Smurfs 3. Also, the long-rumored CGI-meets-live-action Paddington Bear movie is finally happening, and it might not be as bad as that inherently sounds.
Variety reports Sony Pictures Animation and Columbia Pictures have hired on Over the Hedge writers Karey Kirkpatrick and Chris Poche to script another sequel to last year's Smurfs well in advance of Smurfs 2's July, 2013 opening. It isn't exactly surprising: last year, the studio announced the sequel less than two weeks after the first film opened, and Kirkpatrick is one of the five people who worked on the Smurfs 2 script. It also wouldn't be surprising if the Smurfs rap directly at the camera, since they've already done that. And since the Smurfs supposedly go to Europe in the next film, maybe they'll go to Asia in the third. Basically, rapping in Tokyo to a half-a-billion-dollar gross is the least surprising scenario possible for Smurfs 3.
Meanwhile, in other CGI things talking to real people news, Studiocanal is teaming with Harry Potter producer David Heyman to bring children's book icon Paddington Bear to screens as a digital animal that walks amongst man. It's only natural to assume such a thing would materialize itself as Yogi Bear with a duffle coat and the voice of Russell Brand, but the French production company's choice of director could make this a more interesting prospect. They've hired on Paul King, who was reportedly working on the script over two years ago, and whose work on surreal British comedies The Mighty Boosh and Bunny and the Bull hint at a possibly skewed take on Paddington. Or at least funnier rapping, when he raps.