Rovio Entertainment announced that Fergal Reilly and Clay Kaytis will direct “Angry Birds,” the upcoming 3D CG-animated film based on Rovio’s bestselling app. The film is being produced by John Cohen and Catherine Winder and executive produced by David Maisel; the screenplay is by Jon Vitti. The movie is slated for a July 1, 2016, release and will be distributed worldwide by Sony Pictures.
Reilly and Kaytis, who are both animation veterans, are making their directorial debuts with “Angry Birds.”
Kaytis began his career as an animator at Walt Disney Animation Studios. In his 19 years at Disney, he served as animation supervisor of “Tangled” and the follow-up short, “Tangled Ever After.” He also conceived and oversaw the end credits sequence of “Wreck-It Ralph” and animated on that film. In addition, he was the supervising animator of the character Rhino in “Bolt.” Kaytis also animated on the upcoming film “Frozen” and the Oscar-winning short, “Paperman.”
Reilly joined Sony Pictures Animation in 2003 as a storyboard artist, contributing to the films “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” “Hotel Transylvania” and “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.” He was a director and head of story on several development projects at Sony Pictures Animation. Previously, Reilly was a storyboard artist on films including “Spider-Man 2” and “The Iron Giant.”
Commenting on the announcement, Rovio Entertainment CEO Mikael Hed said, “I’m very excited that Fergal and Clay have joined us, bringing with them their vast expertise. They are two of the brightest rising talents in animation, and I’m confident we are building the right team to tell the story of Angry Birds and deliver an amazing movie experience to our fans.”
Angry Birds is one of the world’s biggest entertainment franchises, starting in 2009 with the original mobile game that remains the No. 1 paid app of all time. Angry Birds has expanded rapidly into entertainment, publishing, and licensing to become a beloved international brand.
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