If you haven't heard of David Maisel, allow me to fill you in: he's been an executive producer (read: important decision-making guy with broad yet vague duties in getting a movie together) for virtually every one of the Marvel Phase One movies including both Iron Man flicks, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, and Captain America. I tell you this so you'll have at least a little bit of hope to cling to when I tell you that he's been signed on to produce the Angry Birds movie, alongside Despicable Me producer John Cohen.
The movie is scheduled to be released by 2016, which is about four years out. For those counting, Angry Birds has been around for just under three years, so this movie deal is assuming that the property is less than halfway through its lifespan. We'll see. In the meantime, as producers go, the talent attached isn't that bad. Marvel has certainly been doing some innovative things in the world of movie productions lately. Not all the credit can go to Maisel, but he's certainly done his share.
Still, this may be one of the best tests of marketing power and movie studio magic we'll see in our lifetimes. Angry Birds, while fantastically popular, has been growing pretty stale lately. Angry Birds Star Wars just barely managed to grab my attention for a while, but it's a pretty big risk to assume that a mobile game with virtually no story will be able to hold its own in a feature film four years from now.
Then again, the birds have lasted this long. Who's to say they won't last four more years?
ROVIO ANNOUNCES JOHN COHEN AS THE PRODUCER OF ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE
David Maisel to executive produce upcoming 3D CG-animated feature film, debuting summer 2016
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.
"I'm so excited and honored to be working on this film with Mikael, David, and Rovio's incredibly talented game developers and artists," said Cohen. "From both an entertainment and strategic perspective, Rovio is at the forefront of game innovation and is trailblazing terrific new ways for Angry Birds fans to interact with these characters. I've personally spent countless hours playing the Angry Birds games over the last few years, which I can now happily justify as research for the movie."
Following Marvel Studios' example, which was architected by David Maisel, Rovio will produce and finance the movie outside the studio system and retain full creative control while creating innovative entertainment at the highest level of quality.
"John's experience, expertise, and passion are perfect for the Angry Birds film and I look forward to working with him to create the best movie experience for all the fans," said David Maisel.
The upcoming movie marks Rovio Entertainment's first foray into feature films, though fans have already gotten an introduction to the Angry Birds world through Rovio's games, books, consumer products, and animations. Since its debut in 2009, the Angry Birds game has been downloaded more than 1 billion times across platforms and versions. The most recent venture, Angry Birds Star Wars, soared to the top of the US iPhone charts within 2.5 hours of release.