The SpongeBob Movie: It's a Wonderful Sponge

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The SpongeBob Movie: It's a Wonderful Sponge
Directed byTim Hill
Screenplay by
Based onSpongeBob SquarePants
by Stephen Hillenburg
Music byHans Zimmer
CinematographyLarry Fong
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • May 22, 2020 (2020-05-22)
CountryUnited States

The SpongeBob Movie: It's a Wonderful Sponge is the third American live-action/animated comedy film based on the animated television series SpongeBob SquarePants. The film is directed by former series writer Tim Hill, with the screenplay by Hill, Michael Kvamme, Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger. The show's regular voice cast are expected to reprise their respective roles from the series and the previous films. It is a prequel to the series.

The film will be produced by Paramount Animation, Nickelodeon Movies and United Plankton Pictures with animation provided by Mikros Image, and will be released on May 22, 2020 by Paramount Pictures.

This is the first film in the series released after the death of both series creator Stephen Hillenburg on November 26, 2018, and the voice of Barnacle Boy Tim Conway on May 14, 2019.


Set before the events of the television series, SpongeBob goes on a trip to Camp Corral. However, when his pet snail Gary gets kidnapped by Poseidon and taken to the Lost City of Atlantic City, he and his new friend Patrick must go on a rescue mission to save him.[1]


The series' regular voice cast is expected to reprise their roles.[2][3]



In a February 2015 interview discussing The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water's success at the box office, Megan Colligan, president of worldwide distribution and marketing at Paramount Pictures, stated the possibility of a third film was "a good bet."[4] In another interview, Paramount vice-chairman Rob Moore remarked, "Hopefully, it won't take 10 years to make another film," in reference to the time passed between The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (2004) and its 2015 sequel.[5] Later in 2015, it was revealed that Paramount was developing sequels to its franchises, including another SpongeBob film.[6]

Vincent Waller, who has worked on the television series but was not involved with the film,[7] announced in August 2015 that the film was in pre-production.[8] Waller said the film would be mostly 2D.[9] He also confirmed that the show's crew would not be working on the movie,[10] although he later confirmed that former SpongeBob writer Aaron Springer would be the head of story while former writer Zeus Cervas does storyboards.[11] The film was initially scheduled for release in 2019,[12][13] before being delayed to 2020.[14] By January 2016, Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger had been chosen to write the film.[15]

In March 2017, Paramount president Marc Evans announced that the studio would work closely with Viacom on its TV brands, including the SpongeBob film.[16] During the same month, Yahoo! Entertainment stated that the film would be titled The SpongeBob Movie.[17]

In April 2018, the film's official title was revealed as The SpongeBob Movie: It's a Wonderful Sponge, and former SpongeBob writer Tim Hill was announced as director and writer for the film.[18][19] It was reported later in the year that the film would be written by Aibel, Berger, and Michael Kvamme.[20] The principal cast—Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke, Clancy Brown, Mr. Lawrence, Rodger Bumpass, Carolyn Lawrence, Jill Talley, Mary Jo Catlett, and Lori Alan—are all expected to reprise the roles as their respective characters from the series and the films.[21] In October 2018, at the VIEW Conference in Turin, Italy, Paramount Animation president Mireille Soria revealed the plot for the film. Hans Zimmer was also announced as the composer for the film, while Paris and Montreal-based Mikros Image would handle animation for the film, which would be created entirely through computer graphics.[22]


On January 22, 2019, it was confirmed that production on the film had officially begun.[23] Like its predecessors, the film will include live-action sequences, with Larry Fong as the film's cinematographer.[24]


The SpongeBob Movie: It's a Wonderful Sponge is scheduled to be released on May 22, 2020 by Paramount Pictures.[25] It was originally set for February 9, 2019,[13] but was pushed back to August 2, 2019,[16] then July 31, 2020,[26] and later July 17, 2020,[20] before the current date.


  1. ^ "NickALive!: Paramount Unveils New Details About 'SpongeBob Movie: It's a Wonderful Sponge' at CinemaCon 2019". NickALive!. April 4, 2019. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  2. ^ "'SpongeBob SquarePants 3' Begins Production". January 23, 2019.
  3. ^ "Third 'SpongeBob SquarePants' movie has begun production". Alternative Press.
  4. ^ Cunningham, Todd (February 9, 2015). "'SpongeBob' Soaks Up $55 Million to Swamp 'Jupiter Ascending,' 'Seventh Son' at Box Office". The Wrap. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
  5. ^ "Box Office: 'SpongeBob' Capsizes 'Jupiter Ascending,' 'Seventh Son' With $56M". The Hollywood Reporter. February 8, 2015.
  6. ^ @Viacom (April 30, 2015). "@ParamountPics is in development on sequels to existing franchises: @WorldWarZMovie, @JackReacher & @SpongeBobMovie - TD" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  7. ^ Waller, Vincent [@VincentWaller72] (October 3, 2016). "I'm not. But yes, there is a 3rd SB movie in the works at Paramount" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  8. ^ "Vincent Waller". Twitter. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  9. ^ Waller, Vincent [@VincentWaller72] (November 11, 2015). "@johnny_marrero There will be both I'm sure, but mostly 2d, unless something has changed since Mr.tibbitt and i spoke last" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  10. ^ Waller, Vincent [@VincentWaller72] (August 14, 2015). "@masondavis2009 @espenkj3 Not this time. The crew is staying on the series" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  11. ^ Waller, Vincent [@VincentWaller72] (May 20, 2018). "@ChrisVear We're busy with the series, but I'm happy that Aaron Springer is working on the movie as head of story, and I hear they just brought Zeus on to help with boarding" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  12. ^ Bramesco, Charles (November 11, 2015). "Paramount Lays Plans 'SpongeBob SquarePants 3' And More Animated Films". ScreenCrush. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  13. ^ a b "Paramount Animation announces release dates for 'SpongeBob 3,' 'Little Prince'". Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  14. ^ McNary, Dave (December 19, 2017). "'The SpongeBob Movie' Release Pushed Back to 2020". Variety. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  15. ^ Weintraub, Steve (January 29, 2016). "Screenwriters Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger on 'Kung Fu Panda 3', 'Trolls' and 'Monster Truck'". Collider. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  16. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (March 28, 2017). "Paramount Teases Nickelodeon-Based Feature Toon Lineup Including 'The Loud House'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  17. ^ Yahoo Entertainment [@YahooEnt] (March 29, 2017). "Paramount confirms new SpongeBob movie for 2019, will be called... "The SpongeBob Movie." #Cinemacon" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  18. ^ Donnelly, Matt (April 25, 2018). "Paramount Animation Sets Three New Films, Including 'SpongeBob' Sequel". The Wrap. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
  19. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (April 25, 2018). "Paramount Grows Its Animation Slate With 'Monster on the Hill,' 'Luck'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
  20. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (July 24, 2018). "Paramount's 'The SpongeBob Movie' To Soak Up Mid-July 2020". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  21. ^ Anderton, Ethan (April 26, 2018). "Paramount Animation Announces SpongeBob Sequel 'It's a Wonderful Sponge', Two More Animated Movies". /Film. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  22. ^ Amidi, Amid (October 23, 2018). "'The SpongeBob Movie: It's a Wonderful Sponge' Will Be An Origin Story". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  23. ^ Davis, Brandon (January 23, 2019). "'SpongeBob SquarePants 3' Begins Production". Comicbook. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  24. ^ Franklin, Garth (January 23, 2019). "Third "SpongeBob" Film Begins Production". Dark Horizons. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  25. ^ Haring, Bruce; Haring, Bruce (February 2, 2019). "'The SpongeBob Movie' Moves To May 2020 For Paramount". Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  26. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (December 19, 2017). "Paramount Moves Johnny Knoxville Comedy 'Action Point' To Summer, 'SpongeBob' Heads To 2020 & More". Retrieved March 28, 2019.

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