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Smurfs’ European adventure shuns home country
The beloved blue creatures are one of Belgium's biggest exports - but when it came to planning a sequel to The Smurfs, producers decided to set the new film an hour away from Brussels - in the French capital, Paris, writes BBC News’ Emma Jones. The first film, starring Neil Patrick Harris and Hank Azaria as ‘real life’ characters alongside the animated Smurfs, was set in New York. So why, in the Europe-set follow-up, have they decamped so tantalisingly close to home - but in a different country? "We feel that by going somewhere that speaks French, we are going back to the language roots of The Smurfs at least," explains producer Jordan Kerner. "But by setting it in Paris, we are getting global landmarks that we can't really get elsewhere. The Eiffel Tower, the Opera House - these are all amazing places for the Smurfs to run amok. And the Parisians have been so incredibly kind to us that we achieved a film first - no other crew has had such good access to the city's landmarks in their history." A third film is already being written, with an expected release date of 2015. Producers have confirmed that Bruges is being considered as a location - meaning the Smurfs may, at some point, finally make it home.