Cyma Zarghami, president of Viacom’s Nickelodeon Group, appeared Thursday on the corporation’s quarterly earnings conference call to tout the success of the media conglomerate’s recent projects, and in the process, confirm a new “SpongeBob SquarePants” movie. It’s yet to be clear if the new film will feature 2D or 3D animation.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Nickelodeon president confirmed that “there will definitely be another SpongeBob movie” distributed by Viacom subsidiary Paramount Pictures. No further details were given regarding the project.
Additionally, Zarghami reiterated that a “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” animated series is on the way, which will replace the popular current incarnation — that has spawned a number of comic book series published by IDW, including the recent “Batman/TMNT Adventures” crossover — which began on Nickelodeon in 2012. The 2D animated reboot, titled “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” will “take the characters in a different direction with more humor, a younger and lighter feel and all-new dimensions to explore.” The series is co-executive produced by Andy Suriano (character designer for Adult Swim’s “Samurai Jack”) and Ant Ward (supervising producer, current “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”) at Nickelodeon in Burbank, California.
“SpongeBob SquarePants” has seen two cinematic outings — one released in 2004 (which famously featured a cameo from “Baywatch’s” David Hasselhoff) and a standalone sequel titled “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water,” in 2015. The latter was a 3D live-action/animated hybrid that, like its predecessor, had its third act place the animated cast of characters in a live-action world. Both films, which were considered major successes for Paramount, having amassed a whopping $140,161,792 and $325,186,032, respectively, from the global box office. “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” was the first release under studio Paramount Animation.
The new “SpongeBob SquarePants” movie has a tentative August 2, 2019 release date.