iPhone App Heading to Hollywood, FarmVille Movie Next?

Will it translate from the super-small screen to the big screen?


The concept of “Angry Birds,” the popular iPhone and iPad game, is simple: Users slingshot evil-eyed avians at unsuspecting pigs to win points. Sound stupid? Not to the 6.5 million people who have downloaded the app and made it one of the most successful games on iTunes. Now Rovio, the Finnish developer behind the app, plans to capitalize on that popularity and move from the iPhone to the big screen.

According to Variety, Rovio is aiming to make “Angry Birds” a major franchise, complete with toys, comic books, TV shows, and even movies. While we’ve seen major video games translate to the big and small screen before (Super Mario Bros., Mortal Kombat, Prince of Persia, etc.), will that same transition work from the super-small screen?

Certainly, movies have developed from smaller devices. In the mid-1990s, Nintendo launched “Pokemon,” the Game Boy title that morphed into an international phenomenon, selling over 200 million copies, and birthing several anime series, soundtracks, trading cards, and a dozen films. But the world of Pokemon was far more developed than “Angry Birds,” which really has no story or characters beyond a big sling-shot, some evil pigs, and an inexplicably pissed-off flock.

Then again, movies have been created based on less–Pirates of the Caribbean was famously inspired by nothing more than an amusement park ride. And if the 6.5 million downloads of “Angry Birds” warrants major franchise potential, what other apps might soon make their way to Hollywood? If movie studios give that app the go-ahead, any of the following should be green-lit as well:

FarmVille. The incredbily-popular farming simulator would star Justin Bieber and Mylie Cyrus…farming…in REAL-TIME! Possible tag-line: Grass has never grown so quickly.   

Flight Control. In the vein of Die Hard 2, the film would star Bruce Willis, 747s, helicopters, and the palpable suspense of trying to re-route air traffic. Before. It’s. Too. Late. Surprise guest? Steven Slater.


Foursquare. A horror film helmed by Drew Barrymore. When check-ins are automated, how will she ever escape the killer? Will she figure out Facebook and Twitter’s opt-out policy in time?

Settings. The oft-overlooked app comes default on every iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad in the world. In other words: major franchise. Big potential for documentary moderated by David Attenborough.

About the author

Austin Carr writes about design and technology for Fast Company magazine.