The second-most prolific writer of The Simpsons will pen Rovio's tale of bird versus pig.
When most people first hear that Angry Birds will become a full-length theatrical film, the default response is usually bewildered confusion. On its own merits, Angry Birds shouldn't have enough story to warrant a two-hour run time, but Rovio still wants this adaptation to become a reality. For that reason, Jon Vitti has been hired to write a screenplay representing the animated struggles of Rovio's iconic birds and pigs. If Vitti's name isn't familiar to you, his work certainly should be: He's currently ranked the second most prolific writer of The Simpsons, having authored 25 episodes, overseen the development of another 100, and even holds a co-writing credit for The Simpsons Movie script.
Vitti's Angry Birds credit was revealed alongside news that producer Catherine Winder will also join the film's development. "I'm very excited that Jon and Catherine have joined us, bringing with them their vast expertise," said Rovio CEO Mikael Hed. "I'm confident we are building the right team to deliver an amazing movie experience to our fans."
While the Angry Birds movie may feel like an unnecessary tie-in, Vitti's screenplay could help skeptics view it in a more positive light. For two decades, Vitti helped depict various American stereotypes as complex, engaging characters on both The Simpsons and King of the Hill. Vitti also penned a few episodes of The Critic during the same period, and more recently was a contributor and consulting producer with NBC's The Office. That said, Vitti was also the screenwriter for the Alvin and the Chipmunks movie, so perhaps we shouldn't preemptively recommend Angry Birds just yet.
Either way, Angry Birds is slated for a theatrical release on July 1, 2016.