Feature Film

‘Flapjack’ Creator Thurop Van Orman To Direct ‘Angry Birds 2’

The animation sequel onslaught of 2019 continues with the announcement that Finnish game maker Rovio will release Angry Birds 2 on September 20, 2019 through Sony Pictures.

Nearly all of the American majors will focus their efforts on sequels that year, with the current release slate set to include Lego Movie 2, How To Train Your Dragon 3, The Secret Life of Pets 2, Spongebob Squarepants 3, Frozen 2, and Toy Story 4.

Rovio has tapped Thurop Van Orman, creator of the Cartoon Network series The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, to make his feature directorial debut. Since Flapjack, Van Orman has served in a producing capacity on Dreamworks’ Home: Adventures with Tip & Oh, Nick’s Sanjay and Craig, and CN’s Adventure Time.

John Rice will join Van Orman as co-director; Rice was lead storyboard artist on the first Angry Birds feature and has directed a series of Angry Birds Hatchlings shorts. Peter Ackerman (Ice Age, FX’s The Americans) is writing the screenplay.

Some of the key figures who will return from the first feature are producer John Cohen, production designer Pete Oswald, and character art director Francesca Natale. The animation will once again be handled again by Sony Pictures Imageworks, with collaboration from Sony Pictures Animation.

While Columbia/Sony will handle distribution, it’s not yet clear how the sequel will be positioned within the studio. The first film was not considered a Sony Pictures Animation film due to its creative and financing structure being handled by Rovio. It should be noted, however, that the late September release date is a slot preferred by Sony Pictures Animation and has been used to launch its internal franchises like Hotel Transylvania and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

The original Angry Birds Movie, released last year, grossed $349.8 million worldwide on a final budget of $73 million. Its domestic gross of $107.5M made it the second-highest-grossing game-based movie of all-time in the United States, behind only 2001’s Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.