By Sugandha Rawal
Bali, August 21 (IANS) "The Angry Birds Movie" franchise breathes life into the story of the popular game of the same name, and the makers feel that there are a lot of stories from the universe waiting to be told.
John Cohen, producer of the 2016's "The Angry Birds Movie" and upcoming sequel "The Angry Birds Movie 2", says expanding the universe with spin-offs would be "super fun".
"I love these characters. It is so much fun getting to work with them. They all feel like they are the actors in a movie, instead of characters. It would be fun to do a spin-off," Cohen told IANS here on a candid note.
At the moment, he is enjoying developing on the story of the franchise.
"It is super fun to do these movies with all these characters as well. We are working on some short and fun pieces. They are fun to do. We have done about 21 minute extra animation outside of the movie," added Cohen, who also produced "Despicable Me".
Taking the basic structure of Rovio Entertainment's mobile game of the same name, the film brings the story of Red and his friends onto the silver screen in a hilarious manner.
There's angry Red, superfast Chuck, volatile Bomb, chirpy yet calm Matilda and mighty Eagle -- together they make ï¿½Angry Birds'. In the first part, the cute little birds took a vow to seek revenge from pigs who stole their eggs, and save their world -- a plot embedded with comedy, action, emotion and drama.
"For us, the first movie was an opportunity to expand the game into a story and a movie world. A lot of time when a movie is a success, you have a sequel to the movie, two years or three years later. We are happy that we have established it as a movie franchise now. The first movie was our chance to bring the game to life and honour those things for the fans. The sequel was our chance to further expand the movie beyond the game and tell a new story," he said.
With "The Angry Birds Movie 2", the gang will be back with a new adventure. This time, the sequel is moving away from basic premise and expanding the story's narrative by uniting the birds and pigs to save their islands from evil Zeta.
It is backed by starry vocal talents including Jason Sudeikis, Leslie Jones, Josh Gad, Rachel Bloom, Danny McBride, Peter Dinklage, Maya Rudolph, Nicki Minaj and Awkwafina. The kids of Nicole Kidman, Viola Davis and Gal Gadot also have minor speaking roles as the cute hatchlings. Sony Pictures Entertainment India will release "The Angry Birds Movie 2" on August 23 in India in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.
Reflecting upon the challenges of making a follow-up movie, Cohen said: "There are a lot of challenges and is something that we spent a lot of time thinking about and debated. Though we wanted to bring back the characters that the audience really enjoyed the most in the first movie, we also wanted to introduce some new characters and new places for the characters to go.
"We stopped for a minute to think ï¿½what will the audience expect from ï¿½Angry Birds 2'. One of the things that we felt that the audience would expect more battles between birds and pigs. So, we thought, ï¿½let's give them something different. Let's give them what they are not expecting and force them to team up'."
Though it is a comedy film, it comes with a message of unity.
"There's a nice message in the movie where people find a way of working together, people who might be different from you or who might have a different world view."
Apart from "The Angry Birds Movie" franchise, Cohen is busy creating the world of Garfield for a film.
"It is a character I grew up with. We are doing CG animated movie, and I am super excited about it," he said.
(Sugandha Rawal was in Bali on an invitation of Sony Pictures Entertainment India. She can be contacted at email@example.com)