Angry Birds is one of the the most popular game apps, but as various offshoots develop — merchandise, TV shows, more animated movies — the big question is how to keep it popular while its brand becomes ever more extended. The man charged with developing future film projects for Angry Birds, David Maisel, executive producer of Marvel (NYSE: DIS) Studios films such as Iron Man and Thor, told paidContent mobile editor Tom Krazit that it all comes down to figuring out why people are so obsessed with the game in the first place and finding ways of replicating the overall “experience.”
Krazit identified some of the challenges facing Maisel, who is a special advisor to Angry Birds’ creator, Rovio and is the former chairman of Marvel Studios. For one thing, the characters — a few different colored birds and green pigs, don’t have much personality apart from their individual abilities and sounds. In a sense, that’s a problem Maisel believes the movie can easily solve. But the biggest thing is not losing momentum or spreading the brand too thin.
“Will [the Angry Birds films] have broad appeal? When I think about Angry Birds the film, it’s got four things I’ve never seen,” Maisel said. “First, there’s the amount of people aware of the game. It’s been downloaded 500 million times to date. So try to imagine what that number will be in three years, when the movie comes out. Then, there’s the demographics — from parents, to grandparents to kids, are involved. Third, it’s global — no one thinks of it as a ‘Finnish game,’ they embrace it as if it were a part of their own local culture. Lastly, people playing Angry Birds are engaged all the time. All of those reasons adds up to a potential for a huge audience. The thing now is to make a great movie, not just a great ‘Angry Birds movie.’”
In terms of moving from Iron Man to Angry Birds, Maisel said that he first discovered the game after his mom started playing it. “After seeing my mom playing this game, I called up Rovio,” he said. “Good thing I got her an iPad, otherwise, I wouldn’t have been making this movie.”