Woody Woodpecker heading for big screen revival

The mischief making bird is getting a makeover from the team behind 'Despicable Me'

Woody Woodpecker is heading for the big screen.

The animation house behind Steve Carrell‘s hit Despicable Me is working on a new vehicle for the iconic bird. The film will be written by the team behind Will Ferrell comedy Blades Of Glory.

Giving the character a modern-day makeover, the new project aims to launch a new franchise, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It will be Woody’s first film outing since 1972’s Bye, Bye, Blackboard, although he did make a cameo in 1998’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Woody Woodpecker was created by cartoonist Walter Lantz in 1940 following an unhappy holiday experience where he and his wife were plagued by a tapping woodpecker. Voiced originally by Mel Blanc, the mischief-making Woody was a massive wartime hit in the US.

As the years went on, the character mellowed. He earned a love interest, Winnie, an arch enemy Ben Buzzard and a niece Splinter and nephew Knothead. In 1947, his theme tune was nominated for a best song Oscar, the only song from a short film ever to earn the nomination.