EXCLUSIVE: While Paul Feig made his first-look producing deal at Fox primarily to generate R-rated comedies like The Heat, that doesn’t mean he can’t work clean and for a family crowd. Feig has just been set to produce and oversee 20th Century Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios’ Peanuts animated feature based on the late Charles Schulz’s iconic comic strip creation.
Fox has set a November 6, 2015, release date for the film that is being directed by Steve Martino, whose credits include Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who! and Ice Age: Continental Drift. The script was written by Craig Schulz and the writing team of Bryan Schulz & Cornelius Uliano. Craig Schulz, Bryan Schulz, and Uliano are producing with Feig. It’s the first animated feature for Feig, who started with the cult fave series Freaks And Geeks and has really hit his stride directing Bridesmaids and The Heat and next will helm for Fox Susan Cooper, the spy comedy that will star Melissa McCarthy and likely Jason Statham. The Peanuts gig is the realization of a dream for Feig.
“Growing up, Peanuts was my Star Wars,” he said. “Charles Schulz’s characters influenced everything in my career, especially Freaks And Geeks. I’m thrilled I finally get to be pals with Charlie Brown and Snoopy.” Craig Schulz, the son of the Peanuts creator, added: “As we continue on our creative journey to bring my father’s characters to life, collaborating with a talent like Paul is a great step forward. Knowing how Peanuts, especially Charlie Brown’s never-give-up-attitude, has influenced him throughout his life makes this partnership even more meaningful.”
20th Century Fox Animation president Vanessa Morrison and VP Ralph Millero are overseeing the production for the studio. Schulz hatched the comic strip in 1950. He died in 2000, hours before his last original strip was to appear in the Sunday papers.