Angry Birds began as an addictively challenging puzzle game, where different birds are slingshot across a level to get at “Bad Piggies” by knocking down various constructs. The fewer birds you use, the higher your score. It has since grown to become a major phenomenon, which includes an animated television show called Angry Birds Toons, toys, comic books, and even a breakfast cereal among a multitude to other products. Now it’s ready to hit theaters as an animated major motion picture.

The Angry Birds Movie, starring the voices of Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad, Bill Hader and other celebrities, is set to launch in May 2016, and features a bird named Red who has anger management issues. When mysterious green piggies arrive on their island, it’s up to Red and his friends to find out what they’re up to.

Joseph Knowles[a]listdaily talked to Rovio Entertainment’s PR Manager and Senior Writer, Joseph Knowles (who spoke while in consultation with Angry Birds Movie Vice President and Program Lead, Joe Lawson), to find out what more about the relationship between the game and movie, along with what it takes to keep these Angry Birds flying high.

What was the process of translating the Angry Birds brand into a feature film

The original game was built around unique characters with special traits, and character has always been a Rovio strength. So, it was really a matter of setting these characters free and letting them soar in the movie. We have put a lot of attention and care into crafting the movie’s story and the emotional journey that our characters travel, and I think people will really be surprised by what the film delivers.

To what extent has Rovio been involved in the development of the movie

The Rovio team built this movie from the ground up. We have an amazing partner in Sony Pictures Entertainment who is marketing and distributing the film globally, but Rovio is producing the film and leading the charge in every way.

Angry Birds has been a juggernaut for merchandise. What about Angry Birds makes it so appealing as an entertainment franchise

I think it all goes back to character. Strong characters aren’t confined or limited to their original context, but can freely travel from one medium to another and still hold their appeal. You certainly see that in other entertainment franchises too, like Star Wars for example. What they all have in common is character.

How does the marketing of the movie feed into the game and vice versa

As a way of staying true to our digital origins, we’re planning a “game-changing” innovative campaign that will tie The Angry Birds Movie to our mobile game in a way that’s never been done before. We’re keeping details under wraps for now, in order not to spoil the surprise.

There are the Angry Birds games, a variety of toys, a breakfast cereal, a TV show, and now an upcoming movie. What frontier remains for the Angry Birds to fly into

You never really know where the franchise will go next. Ultimately, it depends on what the fans want and where they want to go. We’re always interested in new ways to extend the Angry Birds brand experience in fun and cool ways.