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Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman revealed today that Paramount Pictures hopes to ramp up its animation output, and will kick things off with a new SpongeBob SquarePants movie in 2014.
According to THR, Dauman was speaking before a Deutsche Bank investor conference in New York, where he announced that the studio’s new animation unit, which launched last July, would produce one animated movie a year. This process comes as Paramount’s deal to distribute DreamWorks Animation’s features is coming to a close.
Paramount put out The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie in 2004, and it went on to earn $140.1M worldwide. But Dauman told the gathered crowd that Nickelodeon has a stronger presence around the globe than it did back then. He did not have any additional information on the plot of a SquarePants movie, but the creators have more than enough time to put it together.
In addition to SpongeBob, THR says that Paramount could develop an animated feature around Penny Arcade's science fiction comic New Kid, which they acquired the rights to in June. As of right now, they have hired Gary Whitte (The Book of Eli) to write a script, while Mary Parent and Cale Boyter plan to produce through their Paramount-based Disruption Entertainment.
My kids don’t watch a lot of SpongeBob, so I’m not certain the show’s more popular today than it was in 2004. Maybe by 2014, 10 years after the first movie, the idea of SpongeBob will be so retro that it’s cool again. We’ll see what happens.