Sunday, July 30, 2023

SpongeBob's Next Movie Leaves Bikini Bottom For the Deep Sea

SpongeBob SquarePants embarks on an exciting new deep-sea adventure with his friends in the upcoming movie, Search for SquarePants.

SpongeBob cast

Paramount and Nickelodeon are taking SpongeBob SquarePants on a new adventure that will transport him and his friends to uncharted waters in the upcoming film, The SpongeBob Movie: Search for SquarePants.

Nickelodeon Animation and Paramount Animation president Ramsey Naito shared the news about the character's next cinematic journey in an interview with Variety, “We’re developing more spinoffs and a series of movies for streamers, as well as a theatrical release, Search for SquarePants. The next one is going to be set in the deep sea, somewhere the series has never gone before. And the plan is that, like Avatar 2 or Wakanda Forever, we’re going to be immersed in this extraordinary underwater world. I think it’s going to be incredible to see.”

This departure from the familiar Bikini Bottom setting marks a significant shift for the iconic character. Paramount and Nickelodeon's collaboration with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg in revitalizing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles proved successful, injecting new life and humor into the franchise.

Now, with SpongeBob SquarePants set to embark on a deep-sea adventure, the studios continue their efforts to appeal to both new and nostalgic audiences. Naito expressed, "We want to appeal to moms and dads and kids all at the same time, and often that means focusing on the comedy. That’s what we did with Seth and Evan on Turtles or Chris Miller, who directed Puss in Boots and is now doing our Smurfs movie. We are trying to strum every cord. We are trying to attract older audiences who grew up with Turtles or SpongeBob, while also inviting in new ones."

According to Naito, the absence of a “house style" in Paramount Animation's approach allows each movie to express the creator's vision uniquely. Collaborating with different animation vendors for each project ensures that Turtles looks different from PAW Patrol, Transformers One, and the upcoming Smurfs movie. She asserted, "All of the movies we’re making look radically different. It’s important for us as a studio to make films that express the creators’ visions."

Naito's return to Nickelodeon, having previously worked with the brand in the 1990s, was driven by her excitement to work with Brian Robbins, a visionary creator who significantly influenced the Nickelodeon brand. She said, "I’d been working in animation for a long time, and when I heard Brian was going back to Nickelodeon, I was so excited because he was one of the creators who really helped define the brand. When he asked me to join him, I jumped at the chance."

Details for The SpongeBob Movie: Search for SquarePants are scarce, but it's being reported that the film will yet again be a live-action/animation hybrid, and the film will go to the deepest depths of the ocean where SpongeBob will face off against the notorious Flying Dutchman, who proves to be anything but a friendly ghost. The film is being directed by the show’s longtime writer Derek Drymon.

Search for SquarePants is currently slated to open May 23, 2025 during Memorial Day.

The SpongeBob Movie: Search for SquarePants is one of four upcoming new movies based on Nickelodeon's beloved animated series, which includes Saving Bikini Bottom: The Sandy Cheeks Movie, which is slated to debut on Netflix in 2024.

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