Sony’s Emoji Film- Happy face, sad face or face palm?

When movies are first announced as ‘in development’, it is difficult to judge whether they will eventually come good. However, when Sony outbid two other movie studios for the rights to make a film about Emoji, (the face icons that appear in text and online messages,) the reaction on social media was overwhelmingly negative.

emoji bar

Hard as it is to believe, Sony are actually developing a movie about the tiny faces people put inside their text messages. This news alone has already aligned people against this movie, or at the very least prompted some major concerns. How could they possibly make that into a movie? And more importantly, how could it possibly be good? It’s easy to see where these concerns are coming from; after all, the Emoji brand is far from the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of good material to adapt into movies. There are no characters, no storylines, no settings, nothing at all except for some (very widely recognised,) small pictures.

The defining feature of Emoji is that they represent and effectively ‘are’ just one emotion.

Many have already made comparisons between this announcement and how people reacted to The Lego Movie when that was announced. It’s practically common knowledge that the naysayers of The Lego Movie had nay left to say when it became one of the most popular movies of 2014, but whether the same phenomenon will happen to The Emoji Movie is another matter entirely. While it was simple enough for Lego characters to be given real emotions and believable personalities, the defining feature of Emoji is that they represent and effectively ‘are’ just one emotion, (or at least they only have one expression). Imagining such characters translating to the big screen seems to leave a lot to be desired as regards potential for character development.

It’s possible that it will still surprise us, in much the same way that The Lego Movie did.

Of course, it’s not all bad. There’s little at all known about this movie, other than the fact that Sony are making it. It’s possible that a good cast, a good crew and (as seems especially necessary,) a good writer, will become a part of this project. It’s possible that it will still surprise us, in much the same way that The Lego Movie did. It’s even possible that this will be a refreshing take on some aspect of the Emoji world that no one had even considered yet. What’s more, it’s refreshing to see that there’s something in the works that isn’t just another sequel or reboot.

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However expectations can’t always be surpassed. No one expected much from Fantastic Four and it’s safe to say no one received much either. The same applies to the recent Adam Sandler movie, Pixels. With all of this in mind- could The Emoji Movie be doomed before it even begins? Only time will tell.

By Tom H. Jordan

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