This one’s for all those people who complain that there are no original ideas in Hollywood anymore: Sony Pictures Animation has just picked up a pitch for a feature film based on emoji. Not to be confused with emoticons (the expression of emotions using ASCII characters), emoji are those smiley face images that have been taking over text messaging and social media around the world after originating in Japan. As ridiculous as this might sound, the story gets even sillier because Sony won the rights in a bidding war that involved two other studios. Considering that there are no intellectual property or ownership rights related to emoji (as far as I know), that pitch must have been pretty spectacular stuff. (Expect two more emoji animated films to be announced in the next few days.)
According to Deadline, Sony has acquired a pitch for an animated movie called simply Emoji with a deal nearing seven figures. Warner Brothers and Paramount were also supposedly interested in the project but Sony aggressively outbid them. Anthony Leondis (B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations, Igor) will direct from a script that he will co-write with Eric Siegel (Men at Work).
Although this project is already being mocked mercilessly across the blogosphere, at the very least, it is the kind of thing that will have global appeal and instant accessibility. You have to wonder if the emotional exploration of Inside Out served as possible inspiration for the project as well, although something tells me this won’t be quite as clever. What do you think, does this idea have potential or is it yet another sign of the impending apocalypse?