An emoji movie is in the works at Sony — whatever that means

Sony Pictures reportedly paid a seven-figure sum to secure the rights for an animated film based on the internet's favourite keyboard characters.

Sony Animation Pictures reportedly beat out two other studios for rights to the film

'Heeeeere's face with stuck-out tongue and winking eye emoji!' ( Bros. Entertainment Inc.)

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.

Canadians are the biggest smiling poop emoji fans in the world, according to an international report on emoji use by country. (Shutterstock / Artgraphixel /
Sony, on the other hand, confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that it was, in fact, bringing emoji to the silver screen.

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.

Many online have already written the movie off as *poop emoji*, but Screenrant's MarkLieberman suggests that making it could be a lucrative move for Sony.

"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.

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.


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