— Hollywood loves to make movies out of video games. There's been "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time," "Doom," "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" and, of course, everyone's favorite, "Super Mario Bros." — just to name a few.
So why not an "Angry Birds" movie?
No, we're not talking about a remake of the famed 1963 Alfred Hitchcock film. We're talking about a movie based on the hit iPhone game.
The chief executive for Rovio — the Finnish developer behind the enormously popular game called "Angry Birds" — says the company has been in talks with Hollywood studios.
In an interview with Reuters, Mikael Hed said he has ambitions not only to see the game translated to the silver screen, but he'd like to turn "Angry Birds" into a fully fledged entertainment brand in the way that Pixar has done with "Toy Story" or "Monsters, Inc."
"We want to go beyond games," Hed said.
The excellent and absurdly addictive game has players using a slingshot to toss furious fowl at the pesky pigs who stole their eggs. Though the game itself isn't exactly big on story or, say, character development (you know, things you might expect to find in a quality film), it is big on humorous puzzle-solving fun.
To get a glimpse of what story there is in the game, check out the cinematic trailer Rovio uploaded to YouTube here. Apparently a whole lot of people are interested in the tale of these vengeful birds, because that trailer has been viewed more than 5 million times.
Meanwhile, "Angry Birds" has spent months on the list of top paid apps in the App Store and is currently sitting on the list of top-grossing apps as well. Hed told VentureBeat the pay version for the iPhone, which costs 99 cents, has been downloaded 6.5 million times, and the free version has been downloaded 11 million times. The iPad version of the game ($4.99) has been downloaded 200,000 times.
Because of that success, Hed said his company is now attracting interest from investors. Rovio, until now funded by a single investment round from a business angel in 2005, will "very likely" take further investments, and has had approaches to buy the company outright, he added.
Meanwhile, good news for those of you who've been wanting to give "Angry Birds" a try but don't own an iDevice. The company plans to launch a version for Palm next week and a version for Android phones in about two weeks.
But more importantly: Will we be seeing "Angry Birds: The Movie" any time soon? As far as Rovio's big-screen ambitions go, Hed said the talks with Hollywood studios have not yet resulted in an official deal of any sort.
And so the question remains on everyone's minds — which Hollywood starlet will tackle the role of the main heroic-but-bereaved bird?
The mind reels at the possibilities.