Franchises currently dominate Hollywood, but some film series are more committed to continuity than others. With the upcoming Smurfs: The Lost Village bringing the series back to animation, it raises bizarre questions about where the film falls in the greater Smurfs narrative. I recently had a chat with Rainn Wilson (who portrays the villainous Gargamel in the movie) about where The Lost Village falls in the Smurfs continuity, and he admitted that it's a bit of a sequel and a bit of a reboot at the same time. Wilson explained:
I think that it's a reboot in the sense that it's going back to animated [show] after the last two live-actions. It's not really taking on the story plots of those live actions. It's just The Smurfs as they live and breathe -- kind of a little more related to the original comics and the original cartoons. It's a continuation in that there is a very important story point in the Smurfs universe, which is that Smurfette was a creation of Gargamel in his laboratory. So it's kind of running with that storyline. Concurrently, another storyline is that they're discovering another village of Smurfs. So a lot of excitement, like fasten your seatbelts. This is gonna get smurfy.
So it more or less sounds like Smurfs: The Lost Village exists in a gray area of continuity. The new film isn't going to acknowledge the events of the recent live-action movies, and it's going to return to the original animated format of the series. That said, it's not simply going to retell the origin story of The Smurfs again; it's a new story that treats certain tenets of the Smurfs mythology as established facts as it moves into a new narrative territory. The Lost Village will actively acknowledge the well-worn idea that Smurfette (Demi Lovato) is a creation of Gargamel who feels isolated because she's the only female Smurf. From there, the story will follow her and the rest of her friends in a race against time to beat the chrome-domed villain to the newly discovered titular village. In that regard, it's a genuine standalone that could fit almost anywhere in the Smurfs lore.
This is a tactic that other franchises have started to employ, and it's worked to great effect. As more and more franchises become firmly ingrained in our collective consciousness as a culture, it becomes less necessary to link movies in any meaningful way. The X-Men series has become particularly skilled at this, as recent solo adventures like Deadpool and Logan have shown little willingness to tie into any overall sense of continuity. If anything, they intentionally steered away from continuity as a means of standing more firmly on their own.
Check out a trailer for Smurfs: The Lost Village below for a closer look at the upcoming animated adventure of everyone's favorite blue creatures:
CinemaBlend will bring you more information related to Smurfs: The Lost Village as new details become available to us. The film will hit theaters on April 7; you can learn more information concerning the rest of this year's most highly anticipated theatrical debuts by checking out our comprehensive movie premiere guide.