A feature-length Angry Birds film is making baby steps forward.
The game’s maker Rovio acknowledged that it will be producing and financing the film itself and that it picked up another producer in John Cohen, who also produced Despicable Me (pictured left). David Maisel, who was the former Chairman of Marvel Studios and the executive producer of Iron Man, remains executive producer of the film. He’s a special adviser to the company. The film will arrive in theaters in summer 2016, or three and a half years from now.
The fact that Rovio is financing the film itself is not terribly surprising. The company has always done business in an unusual way. Its Series A venture round was $42 million and primarily in secondary liquidity, according to sources familiar with the deal. And the company has embarked on an unusual effort to build hundreds of activity and theme parks around the world.
Rovio says it is following Marvel Studios’ example in producing and financing films outside the traditional studio system. Because of this, it will get to retain full creative control.
Cohen also produced Hop, a film from Illumination and Universal last year. Before that, he was the vice president of production at Twentieth Century Fox Animation, and worked with Blue Sky Studios on Ice Age, Robots, Ice Age: The Meltdown and Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who.
“I’m so excited and honored to be working on this film with Mikael, David, and Rovio’s incredibly talented game developers and artists,” Cohen said in a statement. “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.”