Filmgoers will be taken back to Bikini Bottom as Viacom’s Paramount Pictures has announced it will release a new SpongeBob SquarePants movie in late 2014.
The news comes after David Stainton, the head of the studio’s animation division, departed the company, leaving Paramount Motion Picture Group president Adam Goodman in charge.
Paramount, which established its own in-house animation department in July 2011, recently picked up the Oscar for Best Animated Feature for Rango, the studio’s first wholly owned CGI film with sister studio Nickelodeon Movies.
In related Paramount news, the company’s distribution deal with DreamWorks Animation (DWA) will close at the end of this year. According to Viacom president and CEO Philippe Dauman, Paramount has not directly ruled out a potential renewal of the DWA deal.
The original SpongeBob SquarePants Movie hit theaters in 2004 and grossed US$85.4 million domestically and US$54.7 million abroad.