Upon its release in 2014, ‘The Lego Movie’ quickly established itself as one of the most critically an commercially successful films of the year. A sequel, it seemed, was a done deal. And sure enough, here we are five years later, with ‘The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part’ opening in theaters this weekend. But things could well have turned out very different if screenwriters Phil Lord and Chris Miller had listened to their friends.
After the success of the first movie, Phil Lord tells io9, he and Miller had “prominent filmmaker friends” who were urging them not to make a sequel. But, Lord continues, the duo would “rather fail trying something new,” than shy away from taking a risk. Surprisingly, though, one of those filmmakers would end up making that very sequel. As director Mike Mitchell explains, his initial opposition to a sequel was born of his immense love for the original ‘Lego Movie’. So what was it that finally won him over?
“They said, “We’re thinking about a sequel for ‘Lego’.” I said, “You shouldn’t make a sequel to ‘Lego’.” I’m such a huge fan of ‘Lego’, I was like, “That is the perfect film. It ends with a perfect gag. You cannot do anything else.” And as they started to tell me this story I was like, “Ah, this is good stuff. This is good. I’ve got to be a part of it.””
Taken in the context of Lord and Miller’s larger body of work, though, that’s really not surprising. After all, the two have built their careers on taking dubious concepts and turning them into better movies than they have any right to be. ‘The Lego Movie’ itself is an example of this, as it easily could have been a glorified two-hour toy commercial (see some of the lifeless cash-in attempts that have sullied cinema screens over the last five years). So, too, are Lord and Miller’s ‘Jump Street’ movies, which rebooted a cheeseball police procedural as a bizarre action comedy laced with meta gags and self-parody. In short, these guys are the reigning kings of taking movies that should not work and making them great. And whatever misgivings you might have about the film, ‘The Lego Movie 2’ is about to put that singular talent to the test once again.
‘The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part’ stars Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Tiffany Haddish, Stephanie Beatriz, Charlie Day, Alison Brie, Nick Offerman, and Will Ferrell. The film will begin its theatrical run on February 8, 2019.