The unlikely rise of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, Hollywood’s majorly hated, hugely successful kings of the modern-day spoof
Bad Milo! is sick — but it’s the right kind of sick.
An epic Season 4 interview!
This past weekend, Smurfs obsessives across the globe were struck with devastating news: The Smurfs 2 took in a mere, five-day total of $27.3 million at the U.S. box office. The underperforming numbers come as a shock to Smur-fans who made the sequel the most anticipated movie of 2013, along with the Sony Pictures executives whose Escalades are adorned with “Blue Is the New Gold” bumper stickers. When asked for comment, one Peyo devotee proclaimed, “This smurfs!” Today, all Smurfs diehards are Grumpy Smurfs.
Adding to the woes, Smurfs 2's mediocre business is a nail in the coffin for director Raja Gosnell's intricate franchise plans. Not even the international market, known for their love of nonsense, could help Smurfs 2 hit the numbers it needed to be proclaimed a success. Hopes of witnessing Gosnell’s epic, 20-movie vision for the The Smurfs series are all but dashed.
What would the continued adventures of The Smurfs hold in store for fans? Here’s a peek at what could have been if the box office gods had smiled upon Smurfs 2.
Smurfs 3 (2015)
The script, commissioned by Sony during the filming of Smurfs 2, is an origin story for Gargamel. The evil sorcerer only wants Smurf essence to bring his one true love back to life, who died from tripping over Clumsy Smurf and cracking her head open on a mushroom house.
Smurfs 4 (2017)
Gargamel kidnaps Grace (Jayma Mays), believing he can extract her “ginger essence.” Patrick (Neil Patrick Harris) crosses over into the Smurfs world to rescue her. The couple’s son, Blue, learns to love his father again after a stint with rebelliousness.
Smurfs 5 (2019)
An ancient race of green Smurfs is discovered under Smurf Village. They’re kind at first, but the Greens natural aggressiveness sees their leader, Gnarly, hold Papa Smurf at smurfpoint in hopes of leaping through the waterfall portal. The Greens escape to a swingin’ New Orleans and its up to Brainy, Clumsy, Arty, Clandestine, and Apathetic Smurfs to bring them back. (Loosely based on Schtroumpf Vert et Vert Schtroumpf.)
Smurfs 6 (2021)
A crossover event with the Snorks. The film would pit the two breeds of critters against Dr. Strangesnork, effectively spinning off the Snorks into their own franchise while preparing The Smurfs for Phase II.
Smurfs 7 (2023)
Penned by John Cameron Mitchell, The Smurfs finally confront gender politics when TransSmurf announces that he will now be going by “TransSmurfette.”
Smurfs 8 (2025)
A lone Smurf from another Smurf Village (another Smurf village?!) rides into town to deliver harrowing news: They’re under attack and need help. Knowing he needs his people to prepare for inevitable battle, Papa sends a band of Smurf warriors to aid their newly discovered neighbors. Obligatory Seven Samurai knock-off.
Smurfs 9 (2027)
Clumsy has flashbacks to his early adventures, feeling a draw back to the Earthly world of Patrick and Grace. In an attempt to understand his PTSD, he jumps back through the portal and embarks on an existential journey. What Clumsy doesn’t realize is that the portal is actually a time portal. He walks out in 1957, only to meet Pierre Culliford aka Peyo.
Smurfs 10 (2029)
Internal reboot of the franchise Lucas Cruikshank aka Fred Figglehorn as Gargamel Jr, a combination of Gargamel’s genetic code and Smurf Essence. Gargamel Jr. sets his sights on [city with best tax rebates] and it’s up to The Smurfs to stop him.
Smurfs 11 (2031)
A twist on Warren Beaty’s Reds with Smurf Village subbing in for Russia. Gosnell’s final film. The first appearance of the classic “Gingerbread Smurfs.”
Smurfs 12 (2033), Smurfs 13 (2035), Smurfs 14 (2037)
Raja Gosnell’s son Blue (a nod to his life’s work) takes the reins for a triptych of films inspired by C.S. Lewis’ The Space Trilogy. While filled with interdimensional adventuring, the movies aim to confront higher powers and tie Smurf mythology into Christian lore.
Smurfs 15 (2039)
A psychedelic musical romp set to old and new tunes by the recently reunited One Direction.
Smurfs 16 (2041)
With renewed interest in the found footage aesthetic, The Smurfs find themselves stuck in a haunted house in an adaptation of “Smurfing For Ghosts.”
Smurfs 17 (2043)
The death of Papa Smurf prompts a rare “Smurf Games,” an event that decides which Smurf will take on the mantel.
Smurfs 19 (2045)
Brainy unearths a dusty tome while cleaning out Papa Smurf’s hut. It’s a journal, chronicling the only time Papa and Gargamel ever worked together. Hayden Christensen stars as their adversary, Lord Balthazar.
Smurfs 20 (2047)
Similar to Cloud Atlas, Smurfs 20 recounts the past lives of The Smurfs greatest heroes. The film caps with the destruction of Smurf Village and eventual resurrection of their society on another plane of existence. The ghosts of Patrick and Grace linger in the background.
Here is Andy Kabel's and my never-before-seen cooking show audition tape. Rejected by people who can actually cook.
This week David Ehrlich, Matt Patches, and Jordan Raup of TheFilmStage.com play themselves in a review of Seth Rogen’s directorial debut This Is the End. Rogen alongside James Franco, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride, and Emma Watson in the apocalyptic comedy, but does the meta-approach work wonders or signal the end of the Apatow era?
Really insightful conversation with Birbigs on ending his show at Carnegie Hall and making his next move as a filmmaker. Glad to make this my first piece for Film.com!
The above NYC-based Q&A (happening on Friday, April 12) is moderated by me! Check out the movie and stick around for a few questions. Recommended.
The Tina Fey & Paul Rudd Comedy Web
This week on Operation Kino, Katey and Dave have doubleheader tidbit talk about NBC and HBO’s Girls, Patches defends his love of The Smurfs, and the guys get into a conversation about what makes some humor offensive.
Saw this at midnight and had a blast. Ridiculous.
Talking This Is 40 with the guy behind most of the great TV and movie comedies of the last 20 years.
"In times like these, you need a white President you can trust. And that white President’s name is Barack Obama."