Last year the LEGO Movie was a huge surprise hit, taking the common building block toy and using it to construct a film that was both entertaining and thought-provoking (yet somehow didn’t get an Animated Feature Oscar nomination, seriously Academy?). This has given was to a series of films set to come out in the next few years. Screen Rant provides the following rundown of what’s in the works:
- LEGO Batman, directed by Chris McKay (LEGO Movie‘s animation supervisor) and scripted by Seth Grahame-Smith (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter), will open in theaters on February 10th, 2017, opposite the romantic drama The Mountain Between Us.
- Ninjago, directed by Charlie Bean (TRON: Uprising) and scripted by Dan and Kevin Hageman (Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu), will arrive in theaters on September 22nd, 2017. It’s currently the only film set for that date.
- The LEGO Movie Sequel, directed by Rob Schrab (the Community episode “G.I. Jeff”) and scripted by Phil Lord and Chris Miller (The LEGO Movie), is opening in theaters on May 18th, 2018, a week earlier than previously scheduled.
Also another LEGO film, the Billion Brick Race, is expected to come out May 2019 and is being developed by Jason Segel (The Muppets) and screenwriter Drew Pearce (Iron Man 3). It will be interesting to see what the directors do with each film to keep it fresh and not simply rehash what made LEGO Movie special. Chris Miller, one of the directors on LEGO Movie, said as much in an interview:
“[There’s] a challenge to make each [LEGO film] feel like its own thing. Part of the fun is finding people like Charlie [Bean], who’s doing the Ninjago movie, and [‘LEGO Batman’ director] Chris McKay who did so much on the first film. Each of them have their own distinct voices and ideas for tone. So [each LEGO film] will each have its own personality and not just be, ‘Hey, remember that last movie? Here’s another one just like it!”…”
So what direction will each film take in order to differentiate themselves? Once again, Screen Rant provided some information on the details for each of the LEGO movies.
“For example, the LEGO Batman movie will explore the different interpretations of the Caped Crusader over the decades – and, at the same time, (humorously) deconstruct Bruce Wayne’s emotional well-being.
Similarly, The LEGO Movie Sequel will be influenced by changes in the LEGO Movie version of the real world – like, how “The Boy Upstairs” is now older and that his sister has begun playing with LEGOs, and how that effects the story (for example: more female characters being one such change).”
I loved the first LEGO film. Miller and Lord’s unique voice as writers and directors played a huge part in making that film work, but it also showed the potential for creativity and parody within the LEGO world. Here’s hoping these future films can maintain even a fraction of the entertainment value of the original. Thanks for reading.