During a special sneak preview of Sony Pictures' slate recently, the one project that created the most buzz in the room was, surprisingly, a big screen version of the "Smurfs."  The project has been in the works for years, but now the live-action, CG animation hybrid is really picking up steam.  According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Columbia Pictures production has brought Raja Gosnell on board to direct the potential blockbuster.

The storyline of the picture is being kept under wraps, but you can expect the Smurfs to look like Belgian cartoonist Peyo's original animated creations that became popular in America with the launch of the 80s NBC animated TV series.  And, of course, some favorites such as Papa Smurf and Smurfette will be in the mix.

Gosnell has been a workhorse in Hollywood directing both big screen "Scooby Doo" flicks, "Never Been Kissed," "Big Momma's House," "Yours Mine and Ours," and most recently, "Beverly Hills Chihuahua." 

"Smurfs" will be released in conventional and 3D formats (can we dream of IMAX?) on Dec. 17, 2010.