Squawking dispiriting phrases like "brand awareness" and "built-in audience", Sony last week flew away from a fraught auction with the Angry Birds film rights clutched in its quivering talons. And the man tasked with giving the ubiquitous phone app a coherent narrative? Veteran American comedy writer Jon Vitti.
The Emmy Award-winning Vitti looks like a pretty canny choice. The hugely respected writer cut his teeth on Saturday Night Live, before stints on The Simpsons, The Critic, The Larry Sanders Show, King Of The Hill, and The (US) Office. But if sketch comedy and sit-com have been his domain on TV (albeit sometimes in cartoon form), on the big screen he's been exclusively about animation, consulting on the Ice Age films, Robots and Horton Hears A Who, and contributing a writing credit to The Simpsons Movie. He also co-wrote Alvin & The Chipmunks and its Squeakquel, if you were worried that he didn't appear kid-friendly enough already.
Who better then, to bring comedic order to the destructive chaos of those furious kamikaze avians and their pathological hatred of the porcine? Why do they hate the pigs so much? What are their interpersonal relationships? What drives and motivates them? Can birds and pigs ever just get along? These, and more, are the burning issues that Vitti will be wrestling with for the next few days, weeks and months.
The Angry Birds movie will, of course, be a 3D animation. There's no director attached so far, but with admirable confidence that Angry Birds will still be a thing in three years time, Sony already has a release date booked of July 1, 2016.