Rovio announces veteran comedy writer, John Vitti is set to write the “Angry Birds” screenplay, which is slated for a July 2016 release.
Espoo, Finland -- Rovio Entertainment announced that comedy writer Jon Vitti, a veteran of The Simpsons, King of the Hill, The Office, and The Larry Sanders Show, will write the screenplay for Angry Birds – the upcoming animated 3D film based on Rovio’s bestselling app. Additionally, veteran producer Catherine Winder is joining the production team that includes producer John Cohen (Despicable Me) and executive producer David Maisel (Iron Man). The movie is slated for a July 1, 2016 release and will to be distributed worldwide by Sony Pictures.
Vitti won an Emmy Award for his work as writer-consulting producer on King of the Hill. He was also a writer 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, among many other programs. Jon also shared a writing credit on the feature films The Simpsons Movie and Alvin and the Chipmunks.
Catherine Winder is another addition to the team working on the Angry Birds movie, joining as a producer. Winder was formerly the president of Rainmaker Entertainment in Vancouver, and also oversaw set-up, production and development at Lucasfilm Animation and served as Senior VP of Production at Twentieth Century Fox Animation where she re-structured Blue Sky Studios and oversaw the production of the original Ice Age.
Commenting on the announcement, Rovio Entertainment CEO Mikael Hed said, “I’m very excited that Jon and Catherine have joined us, bringing with them their vast expertise. I’m confident we are building the right team to deliver an amazing movie experience to our fans.”
John Cohen said, “I'm thrilled to have Jon and Catherine joining the project. Jon is one of the funniest writers I know, and we’re looking forward to working with him to bring the birds and pigs to life on the big screen. Catherine is a fantastic producer, with over 20 years of film and television experience, and I'm very excited to have her as a part of our filmmaking team."
Angry Birds is one of the world’s biggest entertainment franchises, starting in 2009 with the original mobile game that remains the number one paid app of all time. Angry Birds has expanded rapidly into entertainment, publishing, and licensing to become a beloved international brand.
The upcoming movie marks Rovio’s first foray into feature films, although fans have already been introduced to the Angry Birds world with the weekly Angry Birds Toons animated series. Rovio launched the series in March through its Angry Birds apps, as well as on select video-on-demand channel providers, Smart TVs, connected devices, and on select TV networks around the world. Paving the way for a full-length feature film, Angry Birds Toons has been a massive success for Rovio clocking in over 150 million views from the Angry Birds apps alone within the first six weeks.
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.