Rovio Entertainment revealed today that it has chosen Sony Pictures Imageworks, based in Vancouver, as its primary animation house for the production of the Angry Birds movie, an upcoming animated film based on the popular mobile game.
The film, which is being produced by John Cohen and Catherine Winder and directed by Fergal Reilly and Clay Kaytis with a screenplay by Jon Vitti, is slated for July 2016 release. It will be distributed worldwide by Sony Pictures.
"Angry Birds is a worldwide phenomenon, and its creators want its movie adaptation done right," said Premier Christy Clark. "And to do it right, Rovio and Sony Pictures Imageworks have shown their faith in Vancouver—and that will lead to more opportunities and more jobs."
Sony Pictures Imageworks was established in 2010 in the upscale Yaletown area of downtown Vancouver.
"The Angry Birds movie will allow Sony Pictures Imageworks to employ more artists in Vancouver on a single film than we've had on any of our previous CG features," said the company's Randy Lake. "British Columbia is rich with animation and effects talent, and we look forward to further enhancing the production staff in our Vancouver facility."
Angry Birds is one of the world's biggest entertainment brands, starting in 2009 with the original mobile game that remains the number one paid app of all time. With over two billion downloads, Angry Birds has expanded rapidly into entertainment, publishing, and licensing to become a global brand.
"It was very important for Rovio to find the perfect partner—in style, talent and location—to bring the Angry Birds movie to life, and Sony Pictures Imageworks in Vancouver made that decision easy," noted Mikael Hed, CEO of Rovio Entertainment.
"After searching the world to find the best animation facility, we felt that the talent at Sony Pictures Imageworks was unparalleled," Cohen and Winder agreed.
The upcoming movie marks Rovio's first foray into feature films.