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 told TheWrap.
Rovio Entertainment, which developed and made 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 select 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 also 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 storyline and craft a compelling 3D 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 also 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 CEO Mikael Hed said in a statement. "I'm confident we are building the right team to deliver an amazing movie experience to our fans."