I had no idea this was even still happening but it looks like Sony has gone ahead with their long gestating plans to turn the Smurfs, yes those little blue guys, into a live-action movie. According to Coming Soon, Smurfs: The Movie now has a release date. It’s December 17, 2010.

Live-action seems like a strange direction for a franchise about magical blue men who live inside mushrooms and fight a giant, cranky wizard and his cat. But Sony has no doubt seen the box office receipts for Alive and the Chipmunks and so that’s the direction they’re headed. I guess applied to the world of the Smurfs that would mean a live actor playing Gargamel while little computer generated Smurfs run around at his feet.

So if Gargamel’s a live actor, the question is who plays him? I’m casting my vote for Paul Giamatti or in a pinch, Patton Oswalt. Or maybe they’ll cast him as Seth Rogen and set the whole thing in modern day. Transform Gargamel into a rural hemp farmer whose crop is accosted by strange, blue creatures with an affinity for wonder weed.

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