Universal Pictures is in talks with the Lego Group to develop new feature film properties based on the popular block toys, numerous sources close to the pending deal told Variety.
Producer Dan Lin, who has made several films based on the childhood staple at Warner Bros., is expected to remain on future projects despite his overall deal at Warners.
The pact with Universal is a much broader use of the intellectual property than the previous films, sources said, which saw actors like Chris Pratt and Elizabeth Banks bring life to geometric heroes in a world populated by Legos.
Among the ideas Universal is floating is a reimagining of its own content library through the toys, sources said. “Jurassic World,” for instance, saw a spinoff Lego series made and sold globally in 2019, which aired in the U.S. on Nickelodeon. There are also concepts floating for live-action hybrid features.
What a surprising turn of events.
I figured that the LEGO franchise was one which Warner Bros. was going to be hanging their hat on long term, especially given their push for family friendly content on HBO MAX.
The franchise itself has been mostly good, in my opinion, with The LEGO Movie defying the odds to be a brilliant meditation on reality and life itself and The LEGO Batman Movie being a great homage to the many, countless incarnations of the hero.
The LEGO Ninjago Movie was where things started to fall apart – it was, simply, a movie which lacked the bigger picture take of the other two films, and it’s the failure of this film which seemed to hurt the box office take of The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, a movie which I missed in theaters, but caught on VOD, and is a surprisingly good sequel to the first film.
Hearing that Universal wants to stake the LEGO claim on “reimaginings” of existing properties sounds like an absolute miss to me.
I guess no one learned the lesson of The LEGO Movie – for an impossible license to work on film, you need to be willing to go bold. This proposed slate couldn’t sound safer.