By John Hamish Watson, Staff Writer
Sony pictures has recently announced an extended universe for The Emoji Movie, based on early positive reactions to test screenings.
The Emoji Movie, starring T.J. Miller, James Corden, and Ilana Glazer, is the latest animated feature film by Sony Pictures Animation.
It is due in theaters August 4 later this year, and an early cut of the film was shown to a test audience in Scranton, P.A., where it received a score of 66, on a scale up to one hundred.
The announcement was made via the studio’s Twitter account, and then answered questions at a company event over the weekend.
“We think emojis are a wonderful way to express oneself, and we wanted to bring to the big screen all the stories emojis have already helped tell on the small ones on our phones.” That’s Michael LaChance, Senior Vice President of Creative Development and project leader for the Emoji Extended Universe (EEU). The Torch sat down with LaChance to talk about the project.
“The concept is simple,” LaChance says, “Every emoji in the latest version of the collection, up to and including Unicode 9.0, will eventually have its own standalone film.”
At the present time, there are as many as 1,851 emoji characters supported on current platforms. When asked what a release schedule would look like for these films, LaChance pulled out a calendar scroll, much like the ones that come with your delivery order at Chinese restaurants.
“We plan to release 28 films a year for the next roughly eight decades or so to cover the current roster. There would be two films a month, with an extra film each month during the Summer from May to September, and dropping to only one film in February.”
Steve Buscemi is the only actor signed on to appear in all two thousand films, and his casting has been met with considerable backlash. He will be playing the African-American shade of the thumbs-down emoji, and civil rights groups have begun rallying outside Sony Animation to protest the casting.
The announcement comes in the wake of hackers infiltrating Sony e-mail servers and stealing over 10,000 e-mails and documents published online by Wikileaks.
This is the second time Sony has been penetrated by hackers, and according to Wikileaks the hackers were able to break through Sony’s security using the same algorithmic loophole as last time. Said Wikileaks spokesperson, “Sony must’ve assumed whoever hacked them wouldn’t try doing it again the exact same way, they were wrong.”
Among the leaked e-mails is an exchange between Sony executives that confirmed plans for an EEU as early as November of last year, the first of which dates back to the night of the Presidential Election.
The most surprising discovery from the e-mail leak was a log for the test screening chamber where The Emoji Movie was screened. It was revealed that of the 68 people who arrived to the facility to screen the film, only 3 remained in the theater twenty minutes into the screening. The rest suffered a variety of health issues including nausea, headache, and internal bleeding, and two audience members had strokes.
The remaining 3 also constituted the only 3 votes cast to rate the film, one hated it, and the other two thought it wasn’t half bad.
Production has already begun on the first 50 films in the franchise, and several Hollywood staples are lined up, including Jaden Smith as the “100” emoji, Michael Cera as the snowflake, and Zach Galifianakis as the sassy Spanish dancer in the red dress. Samuel L. Jackson is expected to appear in at least a few of the films. Sony has not confirmed this but like, come on.