Sunday, February 03, 2019

Paramount Moves Up 'The SpongeBob Movie: It's a Wonderful Sponge’ Movie Release Date

Paramount Pictures has pushed up the release date for Paramount Animation & Nickelodeon Movies' upcoming SpongeBob SquarePants theatrical The SpongeBob Movie: It's a Wonderful Sponge to Friday, May 22, 2020, to coincide with the Memorial Day Weekend!

The news follows the forthcoming film, which will tell the origin story for SpongeBob SquarePants, beginning principal photography in Newhall, CA on Tuesday, January 22, 2019.

The May 22, 2020 release date is the latest for the movie, which was initially scheduled to hit theaters on Friday, August 2, 2019, during the series’ 20th anniversary year. The film was then pushed back until Friday, July 31, 2020, then pushed up again to Friday, July 17, 2020. Everyone's favorite porous fry cook will now open against Warner Bros. and Legendary's Godzilla vs. King Kong.

Paramount Animation president Mireilla Soira revealed in October that the upcoming film is set to be an origin tale with a bit of an homage to the Frank Capra holiday classic It's a Wonderful Life.

"For the first time ever, we're going to get to the origin of how little SpongeBob met the rest of the Bikini Bottom gang at summer camp," Soria said. "The film's opening will take place at Camp Coral when all of our favorite characters meet for the first time."

In addition to delving into SpongeBob's character history, the film is also set to depart from previous films as well as the television series in terms of how it's made as well. It's a Wonderful Sponge will be the first SpongeBob feature film not to be animated by the South Korean studio behind the TV show, Rough Draft Korea. Instead, Montreal-based Mikros Image will animate the film. The film will also be the first SpongeBob movie to feature entirely computer-generated animation as the first film was hand animated while the second, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, featured a mix of hand animated and CG-animated scenes.

Mikros Image has the project up on their website and are also recruiting to fill up several roles such as Production Assistant, Artist layout/animators and more.

Sadly, this movie marks the first SpongeBob SquarePants production to follow Stephen Hillenburg's death. The creator of SpongeBob passed away in November after a battle with ALS, as is expected to receive an "In Memory Of" credit in the movie. There has also been a push to incorporate the famed animated character into the Super Bowl Halftime Show in February 2019. The stadium hosting the event is aware of the campaign but has not committed to doing anything - although Maroon 5, who is set to perform during the Super Bowl half-time show, has released a cryptic video about their upcoming performance, which features a quick glimpse of SpongeBob SquarePants!

Sitting in the director's chair for the movie will be Tim Hill, known for his work on the TV series, who will be directing from a screenplay by Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger and Michael Kvamme. Additionally, Hill co-wrote the script for The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie in 2004. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice cinematographer Larry Fong boarded the project in December 2018. Expected to lend their voices to reprise their roles as well are voice actors Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke, Rodger Bumpass, Clancy Brown, Mr. Lawrence, Jill Talley, Carolyn Lawrence, Mary Jo Catlett, and Lori Alan. Composer Hans Zimmer will also be providing the music. Reportedly, the movie goes into production as of today, meaning new updates about its progress and other plot details are expected to be made available over the coming weeks.

The SpongeBob Movie: It's a Wonderful Sponge is set to open in theaters in the U.S. on May 22, 2020. The film will be the third in the series with The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie having been released in 2004 and its sequel, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, in 2015. The movies' release was first anticipated to be released in 2019, during the series’ 20th anniversary year, however later announced that the film was being pushed back a year.

SpongeBob SquarePants has emerged as a global pop culture phenomenon since the animated series first premiere don Nickelodeon in July 1999. The series is the most-watched animated program for over 14 consecutive years. Seen in over 185 countries and translated into more than 50 languages worldwide, the cartoon follows the adventures of SpongeBob, a cheerful, optimistic and earnest sea sponge -- who just so happens to look more like a bright yellow kitchen sponge than a sea creature -- and his various friends in the fictional underwater city of Bikini Bottom. Among those friends are SpongeBob's best friend, a pink starfish named Patrick Star, his neighbor and co-worker octopus Squidward Tentacles, and Sandy Cheeks, a squirrel from Texas.

Both The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water were box office successes for the studio, bringing in a combined $465.3 million on a budget of $104 million between the two films.

Since its launch in July 1999, SpongeBob SquarePants has emerged as a pop culture phenomenon. The series has been the most-watched animated program with kids 2-11 for more than 15 consecutive years, and over the past several years, it has averaged more than 100,000,000 total viewers every quarter across all Nickelodeon networks. SpongeBob SquarePants is the most widely distributed property in Viacom International Media Networks history, seen in more than 208 countries and territories and translated in 55+ languages. The Paramount Pictures feature film The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water premiered Feb. 6, 2015, landing at #1 opening weekend. The character-driven cartoon chronicles the nautical and sometimes nonsensical adventures of SpongeBob, an incurably optimistic and earnest sea sponge, and his undersea friends in the fictional underwater city of Bikini Bottom. Among those friends are SpongeBob's best friend, a pink starfish named Patrick Star, his neighbor and co-worker octopus Squidward Tentacles, and Sandy Cheeks, a squirrel from Texas.

SpongeBob SquarePants has been renewed through to at least the show's twelfth season, will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2019, has its own critically acclaimed Broadway show, which is set to tour the U.S. from Fall 2019, and has a third upcoming movie, The SpongeBob Movie: It's a Wonderful Sponge, set to be released in Summer 2020!

More Nick: Nickelodeon Outlines SpongeBob SquarePants' 20th Anniversary Celebration Plans | SpongeBob Imagination Shellabration!

Originally published: Saturday, February 2, 2019.

Original source: SYFY WIRE; Additional sources: Anime Superhero Forum /@SweetShop209, Deadline
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