Jon Vitti, an Emmy-winning writer and producer of hit animated shows such as “The Simpsons” and “King of the Hill,” will write the screenplay for the upcoming “Angry Birds” movie, multiple individuals with knowledge of the project said.
Rovio Entertainment, which developed the popular gaming franchise, is financing and producing the film. Sony will release it worldwide in July 2016.
In Vitti, Rovio has hired a screenwriter with experience turning popular existing franchises into hit movies. He was one of the writers of both recent “Alvin and the Chipmunks” films and “The Simpsons Movie,” as well as a consultant on the first two “Ice Age” movies.
He also wrote more than two dozen episodes of “The Simpsons” TV show and episodes of “The Office,” “King of the Hill” and “The Larry Sanders Show,” serving as a producer in some capacity on all those shows.
He won his Emmys for “King of the Hill” and was nominated for “The Simpsons” and “Saturday Night Live.”
In “Angry Birds,” the Harvard graduate must take a game with a fervent fan base but little existing story line and craft a compelling 3-D film.
Catherine Winder, a former Lucasfilm Animation and Fox Animation executive, will help on that quest, joining the project as a producer. “Despicable Me” producer John Cohen will be the producer, while David Maisel is executive-producing.
“I’m very excited that Jon and Catherine have joined us, bringing with them their vast expertise,” Rovio Entertainment chief executive Mikael Hed said in a statement. “I’m confident we are building the right team to deliver an amazing movie experience to our fans.”