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Sony’s emoji movie will include real smartphone apps such as Spotify

Sony’s latest update on its baffling emoji movie reveals that the project will take a meta approach to its plot involving a host of popular mobile apps.

The studio took to CinemaCon to announce that the as-yet-untitled project will incorporate real-world smartphone apps, including music streaming giant Spotify, with rumors that Facebook and other major companies could also be involved, reports The Wrap.

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Sony Pictures Animation president Kristine Belson revealed that the filmmakers will rely on a host of major mobile apps to present their story. For example, characters in the movie will navigate boats on an actual stream to reflect music streaming, with Spotify acting as an integral app in the plot. Additionally, the concept art displayed at Sony’s CinemaCon presentation carried logos for other digital properties, including Facebook.

Neither Sony nor Spotify have commented on the terms of the deal. However, a studio insider told The Wrap that similar partnerships are typically negotiated using paid placements or media buys.

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The emoji movie comes courtesy of writers Eric Siegel and Anthony Leondis, with the latter attached to direct. Sony nabbed the film following a bidding war between itself, Warner Bros., and Paramount, with all three companies hoping its zany premise could emulate the blockbuster success of The Lego Movie. 

“Inside your phone, there’s a secret world — and we enter through the text app where we discover Emoji Valley, where the industrious Emoji live and work,” Belson remarked of the film. She added that by the end of the first act, the emojis wind up on the home screen of a smartphone, where each app opens the door to a massive new world to be discovered. That’s where the product placement comes in, as the characters visit these real-world apps, which will likely be open to negotiation. Will you be logging in for some smiley, yellow, feverish animated action? The film is due to hit screens at some point in 2017.