Turning games into bad movies is a long standing Hollywood tradition, but when news hit that the popular iPhone/iPad game Angry Birds is slated to get the cinematic treatment, I must admit I made a Seriously? face for about an hour. Not that I don't think Angry Birds wouldn't make a decent animated short along the lines of the cinematic trailer. But can a screenwriter really eek 90 minutes out of this simple tale of revenge and redemption?
Once I got over my incredulousness, I engaged in my second favorite time-wasting activity after gaming: Fantasy Casting. Which Hollywood talent would they tap to give voice to this cast of feathered friends? It can't be all squawks and chirps, right? If I were in charge of this whole affair, here's who I would insist on:
Ah, the red bird. The first bird you have to work with in the game. There's nothing particularly special about him. You sling, he flies, stuff gets knocked down. He has no special abilities or talents, so as soon as better birds come along you cease to care about him and curse whenever he shows his useless face again.
My Pick: Matthew Fox
The game picks up considerably once the yellow bird comes along. That's because he hits wood, stone and glass at top speed, giving the player even more of an edge. Once he does hit whatever you've aimed him at, his pointy head gets all crumpled and he resembles nothing more than a dude who's spent a long weekend boozing it up after getting hit by a car.
My Pick: Robert Downey Jr.
Once I finally figured out how to control these little guys I hated them less. Their ability to rain down death and destruction on the pigs is admirable as long as you can get them to fall just right. One actor to play all three seems reasonable, and you'll need someone who can use the same voice no matter which of the three he's playing.
My Pick: Sean Connery
This bird is all about brute strength, is quick to anger, and solves every problem by exploding so forcefully that buildings crumble to the ground.
My Pick: Christian Bale
While I understand the strategic importance of the White Bird, story-wise she doesn't make much sense. If the birds are angry because the Pigs have stolen their precious eggs, then why destroy more eggs in order to get the first eggs back? Isn't all life sacred? Apparently not. For this role you need an actress who fully understands that sometimes revenge and destruction comes before the welfare of a child.
My Pick: Britney Spears
I hate having to use this bird. She's unpredictable and loopy, makes sloppy mistakes, and half the time doesn't hit her mark or help me out at all.
My Pick: Jennifer Lopez
Angry Bird God
Found only in the Golden Eggs area, this bird is presumably an Eagle. You can tell from the way the other birds look at it that some serious worship is going on here.
My Pick: Morgan Freeman
Though there are a few distinct types of pigs, they're really just a nasty horde of like-minded jerks who, instead of actually working for their food, steal the work of others and laugh about it, besides.
I say one actor should portray them all, and since he's been dipping a toe into voice acting lately, I can think of no one better than: Rush Limbaugh
Giant Red Bird
I'd love to see this bird make an appearance, but I'm pretty sure they'll save this storyline for the sequel.
Who would you cast in the Angry Birds movie?