EXCLUSIVE: The Angry 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 …
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.
Rovio announced feature-film plans for its money-printing game back in December, tapping Despicable Me producer John Cohen as producer. Former Marvel Studios boss David Maisel, who came aboard the gamemaker as a special adviser in June 2011, is now an exec producer on the movie, which Sony Pictures has now landed. The Angry Birds assault includes a 52-episode animated TV series that rolled out worldwide in March. The 3D pic will be the first for Rovio Entertainment, which is producing it in-house. Here’s the official release:
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.
Listen to (and share) episode 28 of our audio podcast Deadline Big Media With David Lieberman as our Executive Editor and host David Bloom look at changes at the top of the Federal Communications Commission and what it means for the business of cable TV, broadband and wireless; a new No. 2 in the global film business and how that may change the film business; whether Hollywood is making enough family-friendly fare for the exhibition business; and if Angry Birds can disrupt with media business with an online cartoon.
“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.
‘Angry Birds’ Set To Fly As Feature Film; David Maisel And ‘Despicable Me’ Producer John Cohen Board Pic Based On Game
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.