The Age of Emmet is over, but maybe everything will be awesome again. LEGO is in negotiations with Universal, the home of successful animation studio Illumination (‘Despicable Me’) to form a new partnership to create movies for the big screen. It appears that as part of this negotiation process, Dan Lin and his Rideback banner are expected to remain on with the future movies, after having produced the previous films for Warner Brothers, and the spin-off TV series ‘Unikitty!’
The first four LEGO theatrical films — ‘The LEGO Movie’ (2014), ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ (2017), ‘The LEGO Ninjago Movie’ (2017), and ‘The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part’ (2019) — were released by Warner Brothers. ‘The LEGO Movie’ was an unexpected smash, drawing general audiences beyond the family crowd with its clever pop-culture references, and stellar voice cast which included Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, and Will Ferrell who also appeared in person for the film’s climax.
Unfortunately, instead of jumping right on a direct sequel, WB went to work on the spinoff ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ featuring Will Arnett’s self-centered scene-stealing take on DC Comics’ Dark Knight, and ‘LEGO Ninjago’ based on a subset of the toys aimed squarely at kids. ‘LEGO Batman’ did alright, but not nearly as well as ‘The LEGO Movie’, but ‘LEGO Ninjago’ flopped. The mainstream (i.e. adult) audience that was enchanted by ‘The LEGO Movie’ didn’t care about these other properties. And the proper sequel, ‘The LEGO Movie 2’ arrived five years after the first movie, and by then, ‘Batman’ and ‘Ninjago’ had taken the air out of this brand’s sails. It was another disappointment.
So in the fall, Warner Brothers let the rights to make LEGO movies lapse. Many other studios courted LEGO, but it looks as though Universal won out. Universal is already the home of the successful ‘Fast & Furious’ and ‘Jurassic World’ franchises, but both of those are scheduled to end in the upcoming years.
One unfortunate aspect of the LEGO property leaving Warner Brothers is that the movies will no longer able to use the various WB properties that have been popped up in the films, like Batman and the other DC superheroes. Beyond the theatrical films, WB and LEGO have collaborated on a string of direct-to-video movies.
We’ll have to wait and see what Universal does with this brand. Are you still interested in more LEGO movies?
Source: The Hollywood Reporter