An emoji movie is in the works at Sony — whatever that means
Sony Animation Pictures reportedly beat out two other studios for rights to the film
Sony Pictures Animation has reportedly secured the rights to make a film about every texting addict's favourite topic of conversation (two years ago.)
Yes, an emoji movie is in the works — and perhaps even more telling about the state of popular culture, Sony was just one of several major studios said to have been vying for the project.
Deadline reported Tuesday that Sony beat out both Warner Bros. and Paramount in a bidding war for an animated movie pitch focused on Unicode's wildly-popular keyboard characters, though neither studio has publicly spoken about their involvement.
According to both reports, the movie will be directed by Anthony Leondis, whose previous films include Igor, Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch, and Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Masters.
Leondis will co-write the script with producer and actor Eric Siegel, and Michelle Raimo Kouyate (who produced Silver Linings Playbook, Chocolat and Puss in Boots) will take the reins as the movie's producer.
"This appears to be a zeitgeist moment for these ideograms that hatched in Japan and have spread worldwide," wrote Deadline's Mike Fleming Jr. of why Sony moved quickly to seal this estimated seven-figure movie deal. "Unlike like, say Lego, there are also no underlying rights here to purchase, which makes this as much a catnip idea to Hollywood as public domain fairy tales that fuel so many blockbusters."
The concept of a movie based on tiny smartphone symbols might have Tinseltown in a tizzy, but Twitter seems less enthused.
Internet, look at what you've done. We're getting a freaking <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Emoji?src=hash">#Emoji</a> movie. To that, I say: 💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩—@FitnessFilmBuff
me: my movie is about a minion that uses emoji studio execs: [pull out guns, take aim] [fire guns but instead of bullets money shoots at me]—@runolgarun
An <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Emoji?src=hash">#Emoji</a> movie is coming from <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Sony?src=hash">#Sony</a> because they hate all of us and hate the art of film-making: <a href="http://t.co/Zaybcxq075">http://t.co/Zaybcxq075</a>—@_ShadowGallery
Is the entire history of cinema worth the creation of an emoji movie?—@Johnny5Rizzo
2014: the lego movie 2016: the emoji movie 2020: the alphabet movie 2023: the shapes movie 2026: 3 hours of silence 2030: event horizon—@ineptune_
"This news might seem to reek of desperation at first — but it might be smart to wait before dismissing it out of hand," he writes. "After all, audiences met similar news about a movie based on Legos with skepticism and indifference, only to be rewarded with The Lego Movie, one of 2014's most acclaimed films in any genre."
It will be hard to know, of course, if the emoji film is worthy of all the preemptive criticism it's been receiving until Sony actually releases it.
No timeline, plot points, or even the genre of the still-hypothetical film have been revealed. The peanut gallery does have suggestions for what should happen and who should be cast in it, however.
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EmojiMovie?src=hash">#EmojiMovie</a> casting 👯 The Olsen Twins 😡 <a href="https://twitter.com/kanyewest">@kanyewest</a> 👅 <a href="https://twitter.com/MileyCyrus">@MileyCyrus</a> 🎾 <a href="https://twitter.com/NickKyrgios">@NickKyrgios</a> 🎹 <a href="https://twitter.com/eltonjohndotcom">@eltonjohndotcom</a> 🏂 <a href="https://twitter.com/TorahBright">@TorahBright</a> ✈️ <a href="https://twitter.com/richardbranson">@richardbranson</a>—@MazCompton
If Seth Rogen isn't cast as the poo in the emoji movie, then what's the point?—@gordonholmes
CAN'T WAIT FOR THE EMOJI MOVIE <a href="http://t.co/dxLBmX354V">pic.twitter.com/dxLBmX354V</a>—@MarcSnetiker
Maybe emoji movies will become the new Marvel movies. Each emoji gets its own standalone movie—@liaratmoany
The emoji movie will end on this 💬 and then flash "to be continued" I bet—@andreweplotkin
As you can see, the poop emoji — which is used by Canadians more than anyone else on Earth — tops the list of concerns among fans of the keyboard characters.
We hope, for the sake of Twitter, that the eyeroll emoji unveiled in Unicode's most recent update gets incorporated into Apple and Android operating systems by the time Sony releases its film.