Columbia Pictures has announced Angry Birds 2, the sequel to last year’s animated movie, will reach theaters in 2019 to commemorate the property’s 10th anniversary. It’s no secret Hollywood has had difficulties adapting video games for the big screen, but their take on the popular mobile app Angry Birds was at least commercially successful. Though the project failed to impress many critics, it still brought in $349.7 million on a $73 million production budget, which was more than enough to turn a healthy profit for the studio. With Sony’s film division basically bleeding money, it isn’t surprising they would be interested in developing a franchise from one of their few recent hits.
Angry Birds 2 was first announced in August 2016, though information about the followup has been scant in the months since. Now, however, Sony is moving forward on the project, revealing a release date, as well as the creative team that has been attached.
In a press release, Sony said they’ve slated Angry Birds 2 for premiere on September 20, 2019, a date that coincides with the 10th anniversary of the first Angry Birds game. Thurop Van Orman – whose previous credits include The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack and Adventure Time – will call the shots alongside co-director John Rice. Rice served as lead storyboard artist on the original Angry Birds movie and has also worked on shows such as King of the Hill and Rick and Morty. Ice Age writer Peter Ackerman will pen the script. No cast members were confirmed, though presumably stars Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, and Danny McBride will return for the sequel.
Plot details are being kept under wraps for now, though it is teased that the titular birds and villainous green pigs will “take their beef to the next level” as the conflict escalates. After the first movie ended with Red and his friends taking back the bird eggs from Leonard and the pig army, it’s to be expected the swine would want to take things to the next level. It will be interesting to see how the filmmakers craft another narrative around an admittedly thin concept without getting too repetitive, but Sony has found an interesting group to bring this movie to fruition. It’s possible Orman and Rice can subvert expectations and deliver something that’s a little more clever and humorous than the first film.
As stated earlier, Sony Pictures is in bad shape after losing $719 million last year due to films underperforming commercially. Whether the company sells the film division or not, they cannot afford to keep taking hits like that and stay afloat. There’s a need for them to develop a lucrative cash cow series – which is one reason why Sony is so intent on moving forth with a Marvel Universe disconnected from Disney’s MCU (see: Tom Hardy’s Venom). Family films are usually a safe bet at the box office, though it’s worth pointing out Angry Birds didn’t set the domestic marketplace ablaze when it came out last summer. Still, it’s a logical business decision for Sony to try to make Angry Birds a flourishing series given its prowess overseas.