Sony Pictures Imageworks, Rovio Pact for 'Angry Birds' Movie

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The online app from Finnish company Rovio, that has been downloaded more than 500 million times worldwide, is now a line of plush animals, balls, pillows, key chains and more that are expected to be hot sellers this holiday.

The animated movie adaptation of the popular video game franchise will nest in Vancouver after tapping local subsidies.

TORONTO – Angry Birds owner Rovio Entertainment has tapped Vancouver-based Sony Pictures Imageworks to animate a movie based on its furious fowl video game franchise.

"It was very important for Rovio to find the perfect partner -- in style, talent and location -- to bring the Angry Birds movie to life, and Sony Pictures Imageworks in Vancouver made that decision easy,” said Mikael Hed, CEO of Rovio Entertainment, in a statement.

The Angry Birds movie will also nest in Vancouver thanks to generous tax credits and other local subsidies after the British Columbia ministry of international trade played matchmaker between Rovio Animation and Sony Pictures Imageworks Canada.

"Angry Birds is a worldwide phenomenon, and its creators want its movie adaptation done right,” said British Columbia premier Christy Clark in her own statement.

“And to do it right, Rovio and Sony Pictures Imageworks have shown their faith in Vancouver -- and that will lead to more opportunities and more jobs," the provincial government leader added.

John Cohen and Catherine Winder will produce the Angry Birds movie adaptation, with Hed and David Maisel executive producing.

The movie is being directed by Fergal Reilly and Clay Kaytis.

The screenplay is by Jon Vitti.

Angry Birds is set for a July 1, 2016 release and will be distributed worldwide by Sony Pictures.