... Sony Pictures Animation is changing course and planning a new take on its Smurfs franchise, tapping Shrek 2 and Gnomeo & Juliet director Kelly Asbury to helm an all-animated film with new designs and environments that will focus on the origins of the annoying blue creatures. The new take will be closer to creator Peyo’s original artwork, and it has been targeted for the August 2015 release. ...
I talked (briefly) to Mr. Asbury about Smurfs and other things the last time I was through SPA/SPI in Culver City.
Kelly originally came to Sony Pictures Animation to work on a different feature (which is, so far as I know, still on one of the burners of the stove, just not the front one). Obviously The Smurfs has a higher priority, and so Mr. Asbury got reassigned.
But it's good to know that pure animation trumps hybrids in the current environment. Sony is reading the newer box office returns.