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We use them daily in our text messages. But are you ready to see an entire movie built around emojis? Sony Entertainment hopes so, as the studio that brought you (the financially successful) The Angry Birds Movie has revealed the initial blast of casting for EmojiMovie: Express Yourself, and they have a funny trip leading the way.
According to a press release issued by the studio, EmojiMovie: Express Yourself will explore the hidden world that rests inside of our smartphones. Hidden inside of the messaging app is a land known as Textopolis, a bustling city filled with emojis that are all hoping to be chosen by the text-sending phone user in the latest message. The plot, when it develops, will follow our first EmojiMovie star, T.J. Miller (which we kind of already knew):
According to the release, T.J. Miller will play Gene, an "exuberant emoji who was born without a filter and is bursting with multiple expressions." I'm not 100% sure what that means, but the plot of the movie eventually will have Gene on a quest to be more "normal," like the rest of the emojis. He won't have to do it alone, though.
Gene's best friend in the movie, Hi-5, will be played by late-night talk show host James Corden, who should bring his singing voice along for the ride. In addition to his Carpool Karaoke bits, Corden has impressed moviegoers with roles in the musical Into the Woods, and the underrated Begin Again. He must enjoy voicing animation, though, as he'll also be heard in Trolls and Peter Rabbit in the coming months. The final part in the movie, though, goes to:
Gene and Hi-5 need tech support, so EmojiMovie: Express Yourself has hired Ilana Glazer to play notorious code breaker emoji Jailbreak. Together, according to the studio, this trio embark on "an epic 'app-venture' through the apps on the phone, each its own wild and fun world, to find the Code that will fix Gene. But when a greater danger threatens the phone, the fate of all emojis depends on these three unlikely friends who must save their world before it's deleted forever.'
Commenting on this comedic casting, EmojiMovie director Anthony Leondis says:
Hi-5 is a high-five emoji who is a highly motivated, and highly dramatic, hand on a mission (sorry), and the brilliantly versatile, ebullient and always lovable James Corden fits this part like a glove (sorry again). For the rebel 'break all the codes' computer programmer emoji Jailbreak, Ilana Glazer is the kind of singularly free-spirited, fearless and funny actress to make girls really feel the empowered 'nobody's gonna keep me in a cage' attitude this character exudes. And, of course, T.J. Miller has proven himself to be one of the most genuinely inventive comedic actors around, uniquely capable of connecting and who can convey just about any expression-and often does!
Sony is banking on the overall popularity of emojis as methods of communication, and there certainly are clever ways that a screenplay could put the icons to work. I mean, Wreck-It Ralph and The LEGO Movie showed how everyday playthings could convert to global sensations in the right hands. We will see what Leondis and his crew come up with when the movie hits theaters on August 11, 2017.