EXCLUSIVE: TheAngry Birds have just landed some very experienced handlers. Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly have signed on to co-direct the animated 3D pic based on the hugely popular game app from Rovio Entertainment. A 19-year Disney employee, Kaytis recently worked as the animation supervisor on the likes of Tangled and was an animator on Wreck-It Ralph, for which he also oversaw the film’s end credits. He served as an animator on the studio’s upcoming Frozen. At Sony since 2003, Reilly has served as storyboard artist on the likes of Hotel Transylvania, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs and its sequel, as well as head of story at Sony Pictures Animation. This will be the directorial debut for the animation veterans as well as the first feature for Rovio, which is producing the pic in-house. “I’m very excited that Fergal and Clay have joined us, bringing with them their vast expertise,” said Rovio CEO Mikael Hed today. Sony Pictures has set a July 1, 2016 worldwide release date already.
Despicable Me producer John Cohen is producing the Angry Birds movie along with Catherine Winder. Former Marvel Studios boss David Maisel is executive producing. Emmy-winning King Of The Hill and The Simpsons scribe Jon Vitti is writing the screenplay.
Jon Vitti, a veteran writer of The Simpsons, King Of The Hill, The Office, and The Larry Sanders Show, will write the screenplay for Angry Birds, the new animated 3D film based on Rovio Entertainment’s game app. Veteran producer Catherine Winder is also joining as a producer alongside John Cohen and executive producer David Maisel. The Sony movie is set for a July 1, 2016 release.
Vitti won an Emmy as a writer/consulting producer on King Of The Hill. His credits include writing for Saturday Night Live, writer-producer on The Simpsons, writer/co-executive producer on The Larry Sanders Show, and writer/consulting producer on The Office. On the feature film side he shared writing credits on The Simpsons Movie and Alvin And The Chipmunks. Read More »
CULVER CITY, Calif., May 15, 2013 – Sony Pictures Entertainment has won the exclusive worldwide distribution rights to the eagerly anticipated Angry Birds animated film, making it one of the most high-profile deals of the year. The 3D film is being developed, produced, and financed by Rovio Entertainment and will be released worldwide by Sony Pictures on July 1, 2016. Several major studios pursued the global film rights in recent weeks, with Sony Pictures Entertainment emerging as the winner.
Michael Lynton, Chairman & CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Amy Pascal, Co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Mikael Hed, CEO of Rovio Entertainment jointly announced their partnership today. John Cohen and David Maisel – producer of Despicable Me and executive producer of Iron Man, respectively – are both on board for the new Angry Birds feature film. Cohen will serve as producer and Maisel is executive producer.
When Roviodebuted its Angry Birds Toons animated series across the globe, and across multiple platforms, in March, BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield commented that it “just disrupted the entire media ecosystem.” The Finnish company said today that it intends to continue innovating on its existing brands after “a stellar start” to the year. CEO Mikael Hed made the comments in reporting Rovio’s full-year results for 2012. Total consolidated revenue grew 101% to $195.4M compared to $97M in 2011. Earnings before interest and tax were $98.6M, up 64% from 2011, and net profit after tax was was $71.2M, up from $45.4M the year before. The company also doubled its staff, moving from 224 employees in 2011 to 518 over the course of 2012. Rovio launched four major games in 2012: Angry Birds Space, Amazing Alex, Bad Piggies and Angry Birds Star Wars. The total number of active monthly users across all platforms was 263M in December and the total number of Rovio game downloads is now in excess of 1.7B.
“I have seen the future, and it works,” journalist Lincoln Steffens famously, if inaccurately, said in 1919 about his visit to the Soviet Union. But BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield may have better luck with a similar forecast he’s making this morning about the media business after watching a new online cartoon series that Rovio just introduced based on its Angry Birds franchise. It’s the latest sign that “the pace of innovation is accelerating and that traditional media industry gatekeepers run by executives such as Brian Roberts, Rupert Murdoch, Bob Iger, Sumner Redstone, Jeff Bewkes, etc. do not hold the same grip on content creation and distribution that they once did,” Greenfield says. Read More »
Originally announced at MipTV last year, Rovio Entertainment‘s weekly Angry Birds Toons animated series is ready to hatch. The first of 52 episodes will debut next weekend across the globe, and across multiple platforms, including Rovio’s own distribution channel. Starting March 16, the first Angry Birds Toons episode will go out on broadcast TV in international territories including Australia, Korea, India, Finland, Israel, France, Germany, Norway and Brazil. On March 17, it will be available via Comcast’s Xfinity on-demand channel in the U.S. and on the Angry Birds Toons channel located in the Angry Birds app. Rovio said today that Activision, Paramount Pictures, BlackBerry and Sony Pictures are launch partners. Angry Birds has now reached more than 1.7B downloads, and the cartoon series is a further step in Rovio’s plans for expansion. CEO Mikael Hed called it “an important milestone” on the company’s “journey towards becoming a fully-fledged entertainment powerhouse.” (An Angry Birds feature film is expected in theaters in the summer of 2016.) When Nick Dorra, Rovio’s head of animation, talked about Angry Birds Toons in Cannes last year, he said the show was about “telling more engaging stories… and deeper thoughts, deeper feelings of the characters, such as, why are they always angry?” Here’s a video teaser:
Former Marvel Studios boss David Maisel came aboard Rovio as a special adviser in June 2011 to spearhead a push into film and TV, with the idea that the Iron Man and Captain America executive producer would take the same role on an Angry Birds feature film (already in the works is a 52-episode animated TV series). Now the feature has been set, with Despicable Me producer John Cohen signing on as producer, Rovio announced today. The company will finance and produce the 3D pic in house (a la Marvel’s template) and has targeted it for a summer 2016 release. Here’s the announcement:
December 11th, 2012 — Santa Monica, California — On the third anniversary of the release of Angry Birds, Rovio Entertainment announced that Despicable Me producer John Cohen has signed on as producer of the upcoming Angry Birds movie. David Maisel, former Chairman of Marvel Studios and executive producer of Iron Man, will be executive producer of the feature film, coming to theaters in summer 2016. The film will be produced and financed by Rovio Entertainment.
“John’s an exceptionally talented producer, and we’re delighted to have him join the flock,” said Mikael Hed, CEO of Rovio Entertainment. “With John’s hands-on producer background and David´s expertise in establishing and running his own successful studio, these two are the dream team for making a movie outside the studio system. Both professionals have the ideal skills and vision to achieve incredible things.”
John Cohen most recently produced Illumination Entertainment/Universal Pictures’ Despicable Me in 2010 and executive produced Illumination/Universal’s Hop in 2011. Prior to Illumination, Cohen was VP of Production at Twentieth Century Fox Animation. He worked closely with Blue Sky Studios on films including Ice Age, Robots, Ice Age: The Meltdown and Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who. Cohen had the idea to reimagine Alvin and the Chipmunks and developed the 2007 film.