Wednesday, March 25, 2015

More and More Bricks: New 'Lego Movie' Spin-Off Announced

It seems Warner Animation Group has become Lego Animation Studios...

After the first film broke out at the box office over a year ago, a sequel was announced along with a Ninjago-based spin-off and a Lego Batman-centric spin-off. Right now, Ninjago is the only spin-off that has a concrete release date: September 23, 2016. The Lego Batman Movie will most likely be that "Untitled Lego Film" that WB slated for May 26, 2017... Which is definitely moving now that Star Wars Episode VIII landed in that exact spot! The Lego Movie Sequel is set for 2018, WB has two animation dates locked in that year: 2/9/2018 and 5/25/2018. I bet it's the latter.

Earlier today, the studio has announced yet another Lego Movie spin-off: The Billion Brick Race.

What is it about? We don't know yet, but judging by that title, we most likely have an idea of what it'll be like: A sort of Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World or Amazing Race-type story, but with Legos! Sounds cool already, plus Phil Lord and Chris Miller will be producing (always a plus) alongside Dan Lin and Roy Lee.

What's really getting me excited is the fact that Drew Pearce and Jason Segel are writing and directing it. Pearce, for those who don't know, co-wrote Iron Man 3 and the upcoming Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation. I'm a big fan of Iron Man 3, I'm unabashedly in the "loved it" camp. I also love the Iron Man 3-centric MCU One Shot he directed, All Hail the King. Rogue Nation looks awesome (if you haven't seen the trailer yet, watch it and see what I mean), and here I assumed that the new crew behind it would have a really hard time making a follow-up that could come close to the previous Mission: Impossible installment. Jason Segel? Well, aside from his acting career, he helped bring us The Muppets. It's too bad he didn't return for its sequel, but he seems like a perfect fit for this kind of film.

As neat as this project sounds, I do wish that Warner Animation Group would comment on their non-Lego projects as well. Ya know... Films like Smallfoot, Bone, The Flinstones... I mean, when Warner announced the formation of their new animation "think tank", they mentioned that original projects were on the docket. This was back in January 2013. They mentioned two projects: Storks (which is reportedly now at DreamWorks) and Smallfoot. We've heard nothing about those projects ever since...

That all being said, I don't think they'll belt out two Lego films every calendar year. If The Lego Batman Movie is the summer 2017 release, something like Smallfoot could very well be the 2/10/2017 release. The same goes for 2018: Lego Movie Sequel in May, and an original film in February. I think Billion Brick Race will be their May 2019 release.

What is your take on this spin-off? Do you think Warner Animation is relying too much on Lego-based movies? Or not? Sound off below!

1 comment:

  1. I feel like what's happening to them is similar to what was happening to Dreamworks in the early 2000s. Shrek was their first big hit to outgross its Disney competition, so they filled their slate with Shrek sequels and spinoffs, as well as other "parody" movies like Shark Tale. But the poor reception of Shrek Forever After caused them to reconsider their commitment to the franchise ten years later. Of course, Dreamworks later developed other franchise films, such as Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, and How To Train Your Dragon.
    The way I see it, Warner Animation--which has thus far made a total of one film--is erring on the side of caution. They want to cast their hat into the ring, and they know that at least in the near future the LEGO franchise will bring them success. But they'll have to branch out--just as Dreamworks did-- if they want to last. I wish them luck.